Therése Halscheid


Because I needed a father
more than myself,
because I cherished my father
I kept seeing things I could not say
I kept not saying
until it became only important
not to talk.

This was after the life inside
his face had grown mad

this was each afternoon, after school,
when the rooms of our house took me in
through something loathsome

and there was my father
shape shifting into monsters, he was there
with a horrid look, wearing fierce or faraway eyes –
and that noise from him, the sounds
there are no spellings for.

I was pale with involvement –
speechless about that
which could not be formed
into sentences, and perhaps certain behaviors
should not be given the power
of expression

no words,
nothing to say of deranged hours

not a thing to do with it but pardon,
as we pardoned, always, making enough allowances
so as to go on.

Therése Halscheid received a 2003 Fellowship for Poetry from the New Jersey Council for the Arts. Her poetry has appeared in many magazines including 13th Moon, Faultline, Rhino,and White Pelican. Her most recent book Uncommon Geography was published in 2006.  She teaches creative writing workshops and is a teaching artist in schools through the New Jersey Council of Arts.