Excerpt from The Rooms by Therése Halscheid


The following poem appears in our Fall 2011 Print Issue 17. The entire issue is available in Kindle format.

A road led to the water that ribboned the mountain. And not wanting to disturb a brook’s rushing thoughts I walked the rest of the way, softly 
into other moments I wanted
 to see and hear.

Beyond the rickety bridge and bamboo gate, the world turned clear and the long distance to get there
 was gone and ahead the green 
land glistened.

Then, in the sunlight, in the sunlight, there—

were small rooms, open, of three sides only, each facing the elements of ground and sky,
 each with a bed, candle or lamp, with a bowl
 for cool water but that

was all.

One room perched in the crook of a tree, 
another just over the water, while others were set in hollows or upon a bright spread of grass, as if the old earth had made them,
 this place.

How could it be otherwise; how could it not be—

that later, our own bodies would open
 with stars entering, and night, and the wind.

Therese HalscheidTHERÉSE HALSCHEID’S previous poetry collections include Powertalk, Without Home, Uncommon Geography, which won a finalist award for the Paterson Poetry Book Prize; and Greatest Hits, a chapbook award from Pudding House Publications. Her poetry, essays and short stories have appeared in magazines such as The Gettysburg Review, Tampa Review, Sou’wester, Tiferet, among others. She has received Fellowships from The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and NJ State Council on the Arts. http://www.theresehalscheid.com/

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