poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this poet

Patricia Hooper was born in Saginaw, Michigan. She received a BA and MA from the University of Michigan.

She is the author of four poetry collections, including Separate Flights (University of Tampa Press, 2016), which received the Anita Claire Sharf Award, and Other Lives (Elizabeth Street Press, 1984), which received the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. She is also the author of several children’s books.

Hooper lives in Gastonia, North Carolina.


Selected Bibliography

Separate Flights (University of Tampa Press, 2016)
Aristotle’s Garden (Bluestem Press, 2003)
At the Corner of the Eye (Michigan State University Press, 1997)
Other Lives (Elizabeth Street Press, 1984)

In the Backyard

This morning a hawk plunges
straight for the squirrel at my feeder
and leaves only
its signature: blood on the snow.

All morning it circled the yard,
then dove, stunning itself
on the glass sky of my window,

and in minutes returned, braving
the thin, perilous channel
between hedgerow and house.
I was watching
its path as it fell, its persistence,

and the squirrel, how it dashed
for the downspout, finding itself
motionless under the heat
of the hawk’s body,

the claws in its rib cage, the sudden
tearing of wind as it rose
over the fence, the feeder,

the tops of maples and houses.
All morning it stays with me, not
the squirrel’s terror, the hawk’s
accuracy, but only

how it must feel to be lifted
out of your life, astonished
at the yard growing smaller, the earth
with its snow-covered fields tilting,
and what must be your shadow
flying across it, farther
and farther below.

Copyright © 1997 Patricia Hooper. Originally published in At the Corner of the Eye (Michigan State University Press, 1997) by Patricia Hooper. Used with permission of the author.

 

 

Copyright © 1997 Patricia Hooper. Originally published in At the Corner of the Eye (Michigan State University Press, 1997) by Patricia Hooper. Used with permission of the author.

 

 

Patricia Hooper

Patricia Hooper is the author of four poetry collections, including Separate Flights (University of Tampa Press, 2016) and Other Lives (Elizabeth Street Press, 1984).

by this poet

poem
How different things must have looked
to my mother than they did to me.
There I am in the black-and-white photo
the summer the baby died.
I’m seven, trying out my pogo stick
with the two new girls next door.
We’re laughing, and I’m shouting something
to my brother, who wants his turn.
And there’s Dad, standing
poem
Since the phlox are dying
and the daisies with their bright bodies
have shattered in the wind,

I go out among these last dancers,
cutting to the ground the withered asters,
the spent stalks of the lilies, the black rose,

and see them as they were in spring, the time
of eagerness and blossoms, knowing how
they
poem
Under the green domes of maples
light spangles the abundant slabs of moss.
Grass won’t grow here, but something else has taken
over. When I went into the drugstore yesterday
the clerk who moved away had been replaced

by a girl who looked so much like her
I thought for a moment she’d come back to town
with her