Poems by Lynn Hoggard

“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.

 
SAPPHO AS SIBYL
The New Ohio Review, 2013

On the shelf above my desk
I placed a bust of Sappho,
to be companion, guide, and guest,
 
but now an ivy frond
meandering alongside
has jeopardized our bond;
 
it glides like a caress
of green around her neck
and slithers between her breasts.
 
Oh, Sappho, am I cursed?
Or are you telling me:
No art without the earth?



PEAKING
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.
 
 
 
 
TWIN ASPENS
Reed, 2022

Bursting overnight from their
brown husks, the leaves
of the twin aspens are throwing their coverings
across the deck of our cabin
the way swimmers, wild for the sea,
toss their clothes
as they dash for the water.
Miniature leaves bud
before my eyes,
spreading their tiny fingers
like a baby’s hand.
 
The aspens’ white trunks show slashes
made by elk antlers; black punctures
go fifty feet up where bears’ claws
have pierced in their climbing.
 
My husband and I called these weathered twins
by our own names, feeling ourselves
mirrored in their presence.
Over the years they have stood
in companionship to us and each other,
reflecting the world and the seasons,
swelling in size, rising in height.
 
Today, my twin departed,
I return to the cabin alone,
the mirror transformed to memory.
The aspens’ quaking leaves, I note,
are shaped like hearts and tears,
the mirroring shape of hearts and tears.