meredith wadley

silent streets

The villages, streets, and apartment blocks are missing our elderly, children, and pets, the bones of cats and dogs and fish thrown out along with cages, aquariums, and the soles and laces of shoes, their leathers boiled for bitter broths; why, there aren’t any rats left in their skins to nibble upon the dead lining our sidewalks — not since winter, when sledges carried away the departed; now, wheelbarrows occasionally trundle our cobblestones, the weary undertakers loading the staring corpses (we’ve no more sheets to shroud loved ones with), yet even undertakers are becoming rare, as rare as politicians’ promises fulfilled.

© Meredith Wadley

Meredith Wadley lives and works in a medieval city on the Swiss side of the Rhine, where the bridge to Germany is currently blockaded and the skies are free of vapor trails. Find her recent work at or forthcoming in Collateral, Gone Lawn, JMWW, Lammergeier, Lunate Fiction, and Orca Lit.