Sharon L. Charde, a retired family therapist and writing teacher, is an award-winning poet and recently first prize winner in the Matt Clark New Delta Review contest. Her work has been published in over thirty journals and anthologies.
She edited and published an anthology of poetry I Am Not A Juvenile Delinquent, which was a product of her weekly writing workshop at Touchstone, a Litchfield residential facility for adjudicated teen-aged girls where she’s volunteered since 1999. Last summer Touchstone dedicated “The Sharon Charde Poetry Garden” in her honor. She won first prize in the Flume Press 2005 chapbook competition for her chapbook, Bad Girl At The Altar Rail, which was published in September 2005. Four Trees Down From Ponte Sisto, a chapbook collection of poems on her son’s death, won first prize from The Dallas Poets Community in 2006, and Backwaters Press published her full-length collection, Branch In His Hand, in November 2008. She won the first Litchfield County Inge Morath Award in 2005, given for Sharon’s significant social impact in the arts, and the “Making A Difference For Women Award” from Soroptimist International of Greater Waterbury, CT in 2007. She has received six Pushcart nominations as well as fellowships to both Vermont Studio Center and Virginia Center For the Creative Arts.
She has led women’s writing retreats in Lakeville, CT and Block Island, RI since 1990, and has lived in Lakeville since 1970 with her husband John.
AT THE BEST WESTERN
Across the small shining pool I see a boy
about ten, narrow body, loose nylon suit,
and then there you are rising out of him
like steam, in your own ten-year-old body,
navy trunks with the two red stripes down the side,
wet hair sticking to your forehead, you’ve just
gotten out of the pool and are calling me
to come and look at something on the other side.
Your bathing suit is drenched and droopy but you
are widely smiling, you’ve always loved
the water, want me to come in with you now,
swim the length of the shimmering rectangle.
Slowly I rise to move toward you, dive in
and then of course you are gone but the water
takes me in and I begin to stroke, first the crawl,
then I’m on my back and then over on my breast ,
laps and laps, my legs kicking then scissoring, heart
deep in the chlorinated liquid, not drowning.