Meredith Trede


"The Widows Lunch” and "Going Through Changes” are from Tenement Times, a manuscript of persona poems, all sonnets, sometimes fractured.




The Widows Lunch After Daily Mass

Hi, girls, your usual?
                                                Tea and a roll.
I’ll spring for the special.
                                                    I haven’t all
that appetite any more.
                                                  Did you see
the new priest?
                                       Not a day over forty!
So young?
                      Did you hear that his last parish
petitioned to keep him?
                                          Our Father Walsh
would have none of that.
                                      That cranky old man
must think he’s God almighty.
                                                      Mary Ann,
have you lost your mind?
                                 The next thing you know
she’ll start on women priests.
                                           Well, don’t we go
to Mass each day? Aren’t our....
                                            If the Lord meant
we have such an honor....
                                          Oh save your cant
for brownnosing the rectory.
                                                Hush, the pair
of you now.
                             People are starting to stare.



Going Through Changes

Last night I figured out I’m 18,000
days old. Charlie says I’m nuts
and that’s the very kind of thing
women do in the middle
of their changes. Like he knows a lot
about the changes. How is it that men
know everything? Their mouths can’t spit
out ‘I don’t know’. Maybe if I’m lucky
I’ll make it to 83 like Ma. Another
12,000 days, give or take. What else
can you do when the night sweats
wake you and your husband says
you’re crazy as a loon? As if
he’d know a loon if he tripped on it.



Meredith Trede's chapbook, Out of the Book, is one of four published by Toadlily Press in Desire Path, the inaugural volume of Toadlily’s Quartet Series. Some of the journals that have published her poems are Gargoyle, Heliotrope, The Nebraska Review, The Paris Review, Runes, West Branch and The Xavier Review.