Marty, an old woman, lived next door
with manicured rose bushes & breasts
like bags of rice & no visitors ever
& one dead son.
Once, she called the weed police
to say my family never mowed.
It wasn’t true, but they came
& looked & the whole street knew
It made Mom cry in the yard & later
at the table where I touched her shoulder.
Through the window, old Marty
in her gray chair with only the TV light
to look her in the face.
Without hesitation, I hated her good.
I wished for terrible happenings, a pox
on her house, imagined killing
every bed of flowers.
With heat in my chest on Mom’s behalf,
this enemy. This new knowledge of how
to hold things & make her pain my own.
& I took so much
with my two small hands.
Anna Meister is an MFA candidate in Poetry at NYU, where she serves as a Goldwater Writing Fellow. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Sundog Lit, Souvenir, Whiskey Island, & elsewhere. Anna is a 2015 Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts fellow & lives in Brooklyn.