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)