For our new series Poets on Poets, we asked writers whose work has graced our site to share with us the poetry that moves, challenges, inspires, or awes them.  Here, Therése Halscheid (whose recently featured poem In Seclusion reminded us of “true independence, singular courage, and how nature is the alpha of human nature”) reflects on Anne Marie Macari’s “My Lost Needle.” —Ed. 


Therése Halscheid on Anne Marie Macari

Anne Marie Macari’s poems move me at a level hard to explain. I believe this is because of the power they hold: the turns her poems take; her use of extended metaphor; use of common objects and singular events to render an important message about Life at large. “My Lost Needle” is an example. In the end, what is mended is more than a garment. She is sewing her life together, binding her childhood back to her, repairing what fall apart.


My Lost Needle

Never had I desire to mend
hems or dangling buttons,

but tonight, though I can no longer
easy aim the frayed end

into the eye, though we squint,
needle and I, at each other,

and my hand trembles, yet feels true
the needle between my fingers,

the tether of thread as I pull it
through red linen, just the right

turn in my wrist, not too fast, thread
rubbing the blouse, repeating

mend, mend, my dearest, hold fast, let me
patch you, no one will know,

you limp in my hand, draped on my lap,
my other body. I with

my warm, fine instrument, you undone,
never whole without me.

I would sew till the world around wore
patches bright and uneven,

sew my childhood back into my bones,
I would bind, I would bind

what falls apart. My hand is happy—
piercing, rising, circling back—

taking me thou needle, thou red thread,
stitch to stitch, my way back,

taking there, and I go, what more
wanting, what more?

“My Lost Needle” appears in Anne Marie Macari’s book She Heads into the Wilderness (Autumn House, 2008). Reprinted with permission.


About Anne Marie Macari

Anne Marie Macari is the author of three books, most recently, She Heads Into the Wilderness (Autumn House, 2008).  In 2000, Macari won the APR/Honickman first book prize for Ivory Cradle, which was followed by Gloryland (2005, Alice James). Macari founded and teaches in the Drew MFA Program in Poetry.

About Therése Halscheid

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

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