The Air Child, II

Into the second season
of not eating

there was still Time in me, enough
stored hours to keep trekking
to school,

always taking
the path through the forest,
through frost

and white air which held
the woods and me captiveā€¦.

You could see it in the way
we began suffering alike, wearing
the same look

of bare sorrow –
you could tell by the way
my legs were

thin as winter grasses,
steps so light that they left no tracks

and even in the way
the outer colors of earth drew inward
and down, the same as I

was withdrawing myself
from the world, as I was

removing myself
from my father.

This was nothing that clothes could hide –
this is what Death wanted

this leafless body, this girl
and failing

against the cold trunks of trees,
the bones of them.

Therese Halscheid’s most recent poetry collection is Uncommon Geography (Carpenter Gothic, Spring 2006). She is a house-sitter to write and many poems come from unusual house-sitting environments. She won a 2003 Fellowship for Poetry from NJ State Council on the Arts. Her poetry has appeared in numerous magazines.

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