Poems by Therese Halscheid

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The Initiation

by Therese Halscheid

From Canary Autumn 2009

Therese was raised near a prehistoric pond where the first dinosaur bones were unearthed in North America.

It was frightening
to grow calm lying down and yet not know
what sleep held

what the mind of wild trees
might do

black snakes, the alligator
I spotted earlier

in the swamp, anything was possible

I witnessed areas
with no wind and flickering leaves

I had found shadows freeing themselves
enough to come alive

and when, by middle night, a presence
came through the screen, something that
took no form but moved
curiously forward

I, I

who had come this far
to be torn from the civilized world

knew only how to be good to it, was good
to it in opening myself, my limbs
as a woman might

and allowed its power to fall over me
learning, as one’s eyes will do
entering words on a page.

I was read that way

and then,
in a manner which meant acceptance

felt gently closed like a book,
as it left.

Reprinted from Uncommon Geography by Therese Halscheid

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