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Threshold, published by Finishing Line Press, April 2013

"Christine Higgins sees every sacred place, seared in memory, and shade of grief through the "dew of forgiveness"--an extraordinary and rare stance. This brief, yet intense collection contains lifetimes --each stage of which is entered into deeply, with immense bravery and lucidity. Higgins's generous spirit makes of loss, beauty, and of the frailties of family, a vital and artistic rebirth." ~ Lia Purpura

"The poems in Threshold chronicle a woman's ache and longing. Caught between a mother with dementia and a daughter "who is turning/into the woman who will walk away," the speaker seeks out small moments of solace to guide her, to allow her "to stay on course without/knowing what the course is." This is a lovely, highly-recommended collection." ~ Kim Roberts, Editor, Beltway Poetry Quarterly

"The direct and deeply-felt poems in Christine Higgins' Threshold resonate with a variety of tensions: Meticulously rendered daily objects and tasks are experienced as what ground our lives and affections, and also what drain so much from us; And just as the phuysical and spiritual worlds pull at the speaker, she lives in a dynamic of generational interactions. In "Thinking About Karma," she asks:

"Why did I choose my mother?
What was it I needed to learn?"...

and, later

"Why did my daughter choose me?
What did she need to learn from me?"


Posing more questions than answers, these poems depict a moving search for definition of self amid laundry and karma in the ephemeral world of space and time. ~Jane Mead

 

Make Believe:

If you were a yellow canary
I would listen to you sing, 
feed you pear slices in the late afternoon,
and cover your cage with a deep
purple cloak, so you could sleep.

If you were a white mouse
I would watch you race and spin
on your wheel until you tired,
and in the early evening,
I would feed you bits of aged cheddar
to fill your belly, so you could sleep.

If you were a pet turtle
I would watch you swim in your pond,
and feed you berries and clover.
When night fell, I would turn off
your basking lamp, and the temperature
would drop inside your tank, so you could sleep.  

Daughter, in your wild forays at night—
when you wander the streets,                       
on the prowl for cigarettes and alcohol,
lost in your own circadian rhythm—
I am left to imagine some small animal
I could contain, keep safe.

 

From Threshold, 2013

 

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