The Poetry of Kay Meier


Song for My Father

Arms around me, he positions my fingers 

on the five iron, on the steering wheel. 

He sits by the sick bed, reads "Annabelle Lee." 

He attends operations, graduations. 

I see him in the back of the church 

as I make my wedding vows, but 

his shoulders disappear into a cab, 

and I'm waving goodbye to the wind.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~



You teach me to shift on your uncle’s ‘37 Chevy

stuffing coming out of seat cushions. 


Winter mornings, you stagger out,

start two cars in an icy driveway, dig us out of  six- foot drifts


The “Cloverleaf” five steps down from the street

beer soaked linoleum, its broken booth where you proposed 


How we laughed at the windy beach bar in Cayman

Cuervo Gold Margaritas for lunch 


How you measure Martinis with sure hands

Partying so much I have to quit my job 


The dress you buy me that falls off my shoulders

Motels where our other selves make love 


Fights that travel the house, end in the waterbed

Sunday nights before work   


All this, more waiting for us

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Night Rooms 

She remembers the room, not the man:

brown threadbare carpet, window facing

a brick wall.  Concentrate on water:

roaring, dripping; ignore embedded dirt

in chipped tile, hands tearing

like claws, sucking lips, her bruised breast.

Move quickly on down the corridor


to jasmine air, open balcony falling into sea,

dance music against surf,

naked tangle on pink sheets, hot

sandy pink against her back.

They find a crushed lizard in bed,

laugh about it.


Linger here, pause before another door:

white ruffles, maple bedpost, shining wood floor,

gauze nightgown gently lifted,

folded, bubbles cold in a glass.

She drinks leaves of gold.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


The  Hotel Palmilla 

Imagine a beautiful woman on the veranda

overhanging a cliff.  Below, waves foam on rocks.

It is August, 120 degrees.

The hot wind presses her gown into the hollows of her body.


She leans over a railing of white lace

to glimpse her lover's boat,

his catch glinting in the late sun. 

She dreams he ascends the stairs

to lead her in a wild, Latin dance,

to press her back hard against

the glittering blue and white floor.


Instead the surf splinters

his boat upon a bed of rock.

She falls for the stranger

who appears at his funeral.


Look!  She paces now on the veranda over the sea.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~



Stuffing pokes out of the seats in your uncle’s ‘37 Chevy, a lipstick smear on its ceiling. The car dies in the middle of rush hour. Sixty bucks towing. The clutch on the green Jeep requires a superhuman leg. When we buy the Dodge, we don’t notice a permeating ammonia odor. The Pontiac’s side door rattles a bit before it falls off.

We become experts at selling and lying: the Volvo that was never right after you slammed it into a parking bar, an egg shell “442 “ that skids in rain, a Seville even the dealer can’t fix. We also forget to mention the Bronco’s U-joint that failed on a mountain ledge.

Even though you promise each new car will last ten years, I know their days are numbered. It will either roll on the highway, sway like a flag above fifty or slam into a slow moving semi. Whatever the defect, it will be too expensive to fix.


About the Author

Kay lived in Chicago for most of her adult life, but she and her husband traveled extensively through-out the world.

From 1989 through 1996, Kay edited Rhino. In 2001, she won the July poetry contest for Phoenix Downtown. Some of her poems have appeared in Blue Mesa Review, Cumberland Poetry Review, Karamu, Oyez Review, Passages North, Slipstream, Snake River Press, Sow’s Ear, Slant, Spoon River Quarterly, The Sun, and Whiskey Island.

Her first book is Rehearsal.  Her poetry is collected in a 2004 anthology entitled Sonoran Mirage. Kay’s great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother is Anne Hutchinson.

Kay Meier passed away in October 2007 and her poetry will be with us forever.

We miss you Kay!


Sonoran Mirage Anthology

Sonoran Mirage

with contributing author

Kay Meier



































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