Three Poems by Anna Meister


always my chore
to pull the driveway
weeds, thin & drooping
bodies of dying
snakes. I sit on
the pour of stone
beneath sun because
it is my duty.
dad says so. he calls
the weeds eyesores
in his gravel-
huff & I hear
my own name. I keep
quiet, wipe my work
sweat. pull roots up
between the rocks,
amazed at how
they grew, swam through
this hard & gray world.
I feel sick to be
their killer. my twig-
arm force, all this
death in my hands
                             & up,





I didn’t make the drive up, blamed my waitressing job & sore feet.
Didn’t grip his hand or let my father ramble on in prayer. Figured
there’d be more final months. I never brought a pan of potatoes
as offering, but now I am bringing him here, laying him down.
Remembering his mustache & tobacco-packed lip. His dog called Dog
& denim everything. The funeral program nicknames him Spider,
but I knew him as Wayne & didn’t really know him.

It’s only August, but the tables are dressed in orange, covered
with little plastic bugs from the Halloween store, their black bodies
placed around the food & punch bowl as if time has frozen
each of their eight legs in crawl.





in the other room, the bed is
an ocean, a schoolhouse,
a 24-hour diner. what cannot be
imagined? every thing
becomes another. apple orchard
closet. hamper of witch’s brew.
with an arched back, i turn
cat, carry old socks
in my mouth as young.

cousin amanda interrupts
all of my games, says i am
her doll now. she dresses me
in purple velvet that pools
at my feet, hides my glasses,
curls the front wisps of my hair
until i smell burn.

she tells me, finally
you will be beautiful.




Anna Meister's poems have found homes in publications such as NAP, The Bakery, & Nailed Magazine. A recent graduate of Hampshire College, Anna loves political thrillers & coconut curries.