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The Mayo Clinic

by Eva Hooker


I walk on the slant, tilt as if the danger
of being out

of balance were an act of necessary
love, an interval

that explores how being
upright is possible—

Here nerve is
in extremity, a craze, a small crack

in the surface, like the scurrying
of ants.

Its hot flight, its embroideries, its hollows
make clear the falling

off:  minute notches fail to keep.
Then, the soul has

no period, no end, only brackets and parentheses
for damage.  The difficulty—

so hard, then, to hold.  Lately sprung,
the light.

 

Eva Hooker is Regents Professor of Poetry at Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. The Winter Keeper, a handbound chapbook (Chapiteau Press, Montpelier, Vermont, 2000) was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in poetry in 2001. Her poetry has recently been published in Shenandoah, Salmagundi, Rivendell, and The Grove Review. She is a Sister of the Holy Cross. (4/2006)


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