This Sunday’s poet has been without a permanent residence for 18 years.  In 1993 she sold her belongings and set out as a house-sitter in order to, in her words, “write in and of varied settings.”  As we close a week of celebrating the independence Americans are said to treasure and begin the rest of the season when we flock together, let us sit in awe at the transient’s table where we find Therése Halscheid writing of true independence, singular courage, and how nature is the alpha of human nature.

 

 

In Seclusion
            house-sitting in the pinelands
 
When, finally,
I learned how not to be in the world,
the earth turned trusting

the forest began sharing
its old rhythms

gradually I wore less
until it was
that I stood unclothed
on the deck each night
glad for the beginning of fur
on my body.

And my own sound came
from me then—
that primal noise I had,
for years, swallowed.

That noise, the slow starting of fur,
was there for
what darkness allowed—

that soft opening below,
of the dirt breaking
for when the flesh springs.

 

“In Seclusion” first appeared in Reed Magazine and was later printed in Kritya and is included in Therése Halscheid’s book of poems, Uncommon Geography (Carpenter Gothic, 2006).

Therése Halscheid has lived simply as an itinerant writer for nearly two decades.  Her poetry collections are entitled “Uncommon Geography” (which won a Finalist Award for the Paterson Poetry Book Prize and a Greatest Hits chapbook award from Pudding House Publications), “Without Home” (Kells), and “Powertalk.”  She has been widely published and has won numerous awards, recognitions, and fellowships.  To find out more about this fascinating poet and prose writer, go to www.ThereseHalscheid.com