Tresha Faye Haefner

Pine Row Issue No. 4 Winter 2021 - Featured Poet

Love of Coconuts

When they ran out of saline solution,

Nurses gave transfusions of coconut water

to soldiers in the Solomon Islands.

My friend told me this as she cut my hair.

Told me to use coconut oil instead of lotion,

Coconut oil to pull impurities from my teeth.

So when I get to the shore of Oahu at five am,

the lone woman walking through cold sand

without a surfboard, and see the first wild coconut

of my adulthood, I think of her.

Imagine soldiers

lying in cotton white beds

with coconuts infusing their blood,

The way pineapple infused the grape in the pineapple wine

I drank last night. The way rain infuses the clouds

Overhead. It’s not yet sunrise

But already I see light on the horizon, the bright

Passion-fruit yellow of that star sliding its fingers

Out of night, infusing

my arms with flickers of what used to be real fire.

There is no such thing

as independence. Nothing can live

without being transformed,

translated, transfused by what lives near

the surface of the earth, making itself indispensable.

Even a morning on this shore has translated me

into ukulele music and the smell of frangipani ginger,

The Taro root.

Rain falls on the skin

of the water. This ocean came from stardust,

And radiates still like the silver of a sterling pendant.

My grandmother wore before she died.

I hear laughter

So old it must be someone’s grandmother

Somebody’s starlight

Sharing what she has been saving

From the time she burst open

And became ocean,

to play her silverfish--shark-whale-krill-

sounding guitar song

for me.

Interview with Tresha Faye Haefner

by Pine Row Editorial Board


Tresha Faye Haefner’s poetry appears, or is forthcoming in several journals and magazines, most notably Blood Lotus, The Cincinnati Review, Pirene’s Fountain, and Poet Lore. Her work has garnered several accolades, including the 2011 Robert and Adele Schiff Poetry Prize. She is the author of 2 chapbooks, The Lone Breakable Night (FinishingLinePress), and Tattoos on Young Women in Spring (The Poetry Salon Press). She is also founder of The Poetry Salon, which provides workshops to new and beginning writers both in person, and online.