The Lives We Live in Houses

The Lives We Live in Houses (Wind Publications, 2011) is out of print, but used copies are sometimes available from on-line vendors such as Amazon. Several poems from this book are reprinted in Coal Town Photograph (Dos Madres Press, 2019)

Poetry by Appalachian writer Pauletta Hansel on the personal and poetic necessity of the examined life.
By Appalachian poet Pauletta Hansel, The Lives We Live in Houses maintains Pauletta Hansel’s career-long focus on the personal and poetic necessity of the examined life. –Richard Hague


The poem below, from The Lives We Live in Houses (Wind Publications, 2011), can be heard on The Writers Almanac website. 

HusbandsMy mother likes a man who works. She likes
my husband’s muddy knees, grass stains on the cuffs.
She loved my father, though when weekends came
he’d sleep till nine and would not lift
his eyes up from the page to move the feet
she’d vacuum under. On Saturdays my husband
digs the holes for her new roses,
softening the clay with peat and compost.
He changes bulbs she can no longer reach
and understands the inside of her toaster.
My father’s feet would carry him from chair
to bookshelf, back again till Monday came.
My mother likes to tell my husband
sit down in this chair and put your feet up.

Pauletta Hansel
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