Three Poems by Meredith Trede – The Feminist Wire

Three Poems by Meredith Trede

By Meredith Trede




Surviving Birds


As you pack, you tell me

the swans attacked

during your dawn river swim.

Their fierce wings beat

a hiss of chase. You say swans

protect their space. I say

they don’t want men

near their young.

What do these swans know?

And what chance

did Leda have?

Those wings and

the shoddiness of a god,

disguised as a bird

who mates for life.



 To Have and Have Not


Here’s looking at you, kid.

Men said things like that.

You know how to whistle, don’t you?

Just put your lips together and blow.


We know a woman said that,

At least in the movies. The camera

Was there. But she didn’t write

The lines; they were scripted for her.


She’s just a kid.

He’s been around.

See the rakish angle of his fedora.

How his cigarette dangles.


She keeps talking

And thinks he’s saying something.



Joan’s Voices


The old religion seems so far: women pass

  the burning site costumed like men; old gods

.      are named devil or naught.

.                                                          Water of aconite,

.             hemlock and soot mix a flying ointment.


Their new god wants sacrifice of soul

.    not flesh, presumes to sky and abandons

     the soil.

.                       Heed the voices. Call them

.              satan, saint, god. They will live.


That she knew herself divine, forgotten.

.   As though a flow of water could wash

.      away her song:

.                                 That I may burn.

.                                           That I may burn.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Meredith Trede’s full-length book of poems, Field Theory, was published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press in 2011. A founder of Toadlily Press, her chapbook, Out of the Book, was in Desire Path, the inaugural volume of The Quartet Series and she serves on the Advisory Board of Slapering Hol Press. Journals that have published my work include Barrow Street, Gargoyle, 13th Moon, and The Paris Review. She has held residency fellowships at Blue Mountain Center, Ragdale, Saltonstall, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Virginia and France, and was awarded the 2012 Nicholson Political Poetry Award.