Excerpt from Finding My Own Way to the Garden by Christine Gelineau


The following essay appears in Tiferet’s Summer 2017 issue. The entire issue is available for immediate digital download.

At college orientation they issued us Freshman beanies and explained parietal hours to us. The beanies a few of us even wore to the Orientation barbeque but “lost” well before classes convened. As to curfew, for the most part we signed in and out dutifully, evading the deadline no more egregiously than any other class for perhaps a semester, but the ground was already crumbling beneath the house mothers’ feet. The times they were a’changin’.

Inevitably gentile regulations like male visitors allowed only in the lounge were obliterated and as a practical matter, dorm councils were working out roommate and bathroom protocols for all the opposite sex visitors up in the bedrooms. I took my own advantage of shifting standards by moving my dog in.

From an ad in the student newspaper I discovered the horse barns down at the Ag Farm and after that, I was likely to slip into my literature classes with a dog or two at my heels and a pair of hunt boots slung over my shoulder.

CHRISTINE GELINEAU is an essayist and poet and most recently the author of the poetry collection Crave (NYQ Books, 2016). Other books include the book-length sequence Appetite for the Divine, published as the Editor’s Choice for the Robert McGovern Prize from Ashland Poetry Press, 2010 and Remorseless Loyalty, winner of the Richard Snyder Memorial Prize, also from Ashland, 2006. A recipient of the Pushcart Prize, her essays have appeared in Iron Horse Review, The New York Times Opinionator (both cited as Notable Essays in Best American), and Florida Review (runner up in their Editor’s Prize for Nonfiction). Gelineau teaches at Binghamton University and in the low-residency MFA at Wilkes University.

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