“A Poem is a Holy Thing.” — Theodore Roethke
Lynn Hoggard has published more than 125 poems in peer-reviewed journals and publications. Her work has appeared in descant, Atlanta Review, the Healing Muse, the Oklahoma Review, New Ohio Review, Concho River Review, 13th Moon, Soundings, Glassworks Magazine, Schuylkill Valley Journal of the Arts, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Rosebud, MacGuffin, Blue Stem, and Voices de la Luna, among many others.
The Broken Plate, 2014
At 13,161', Wheeler Peak is New Mexico’s highest point.
Once again I’d like to scale
that rugged rock, sow my energy
across the trail, greet the consternated
bighorn sheep, the yelping marmots,
and heave my aging body up and up,
beyond the treeline, into blasts
of icy, windswept air.
Once more I’d like to sign that aerie registry
affirming I’ve been there, with luck
this time without the lightning,
sleet, or mudslides, the soaking clothes,
the boots awash in water. This time
the route will be much steeper, but
half the sixteen miles I trudged before.
Perhaps, these three years later, I won’t make it
to the top; perhaps my legs and lungs
will halt before I’m there, so I will stay
below the treeline, looking up to where
I’ve gone before and want to go again,
knowing my place for now will be to try—
to yearn for peaks of rock and wind and sky.