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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)

From a Park Bench

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 hair cut. And in the second grade,
when Bobby Markley died, a new boy from Ohio
promptly sat beside me at his desk.

Out here, in the city park,
people are almost always interchangeable,
though the summer I’ll hate to lose
supplants itself with a wan and amber sun
that isn’t quite the same, reminding me

of larger griefs not easily consoled.
“Life is the saddest thing there is,
next to death,” Edith Wharton wrote,
she who walked so often in the park
listening to the old, remembered voices.

She must have sat under trees not unlike this one,
heavy with sorrows she couldn’t speak aloud.
She mourned her friends, and one friend like no other,
while the late sunlight passed across the grasses,
and now she too is gone.

Copyright © 2017 Patricia Hooper. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Spring 2017.

Copyright © 2017 Patricia Hooper. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Spring 2017.

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
Remember how we took those separate flights
imagining the worst: our plane gone down,
our children young, alone? I’d leave an hour
before you, wait to meet you at your gate,
or you’d go first, arrive and rent a car,
then meet me at the exit. In between,
blue emptiness, our lives suspended where
clouds stacked