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Poets are Present is a poetry residency in conjunction with David Ives’s adaptation of The Metromaniacs. As part of this unique theatre/poetry exchange, the Shakespeare Theatre Company is proud to host more than 30 D.C.-area poets in the theatre’s lobby. Throughout the run, we will share with you the poems that this residency inspired our guests to write. Visit our Poets are Present page to see a list of upcoming poets.
Meg Eden‘s work has been published in various magazines, including Rattle, Drunken Boat, Eleven Eleven, and Rock & Sling. Her work received second place in the 2014 Ian MacMillan Fiction contest. Her collections include “Your Son” (The Florence Kahn Memorial Award), “Rotary Phones and Facebook” (Dancing Girl Press) and “The Girl Who Came Back” (Red Bird Chapbooks). She teaches at the University of Maryland.
My Mother’s Colander
By Meg Eden
My mother’s colander: metal
with small, heart-shaped mouths—
so many mouths, like a Hindu god—
it was an old thing, probably
my grandmother’s before, just like
that blueberry bush in our back yard,
planted 50-odd-years ago, a natural
inheritance. We never used
the colander except when picking
blueberries, and even that
became a hobby my parents dropped
for other pursuits—leaving me
every summer, filling that colander
with as many berries as I could save—
and still! all those ripe
berries left unpicked! how thrilled
all the deer must be when
my mother comes home with store-
bought blueberries, berries much
softer and less blue than the ones
I’ve picked. I don’t remember
the excuses she gives me: that she wants
to make sure she has enough
for the guests? That it doesn’t matter, really—
they weren’t that much
but I know it’s all irrelevant, she’s thinking
about all those deer that rub their noses
into the bush, the birds that breed
in the leaves—and if only she knew
about the cat living underneath it all,
dressing herself in the sweet juice,
coming and going as she pleases.