Meredith Davies Hadaway, "My Mother in the Darkroom"




She’d worked at the Navy photo lab during

the war. Swirling blank sheets in chemicals,


her nose startled by the sharp smell, her eyes

by ships with sides blown open, smoking planes,


each apparition rising from the pungent bath

beneath her wooden tongs. She pinned the twisted


wrecks of smoke and flame in rows

like laundered shirts, like tombstones.


After the war, she built her own darkroom

to document smooth skin, first steps in the grass,


bubble bulbs on a Christmas tree.

From the tray of the enlarger, the light shone


through the holes the war had left behind

and the images swayed in rows


like stepping-stones, tiny fists,

and footed pajamas, like proof.


Meredith Davies Hadaway's work has recently appeared in Mantis, Passages North, New Ohio Review, poemmemoirstory, and Salamander. Her third poetry collection, At The Narrows, is due out from WordTech Communications in 2015.