|Saving the Snowy Owl
Because I am old and will die
soon, I can surprise the young
petition bearers. Oh, well, I say,
without owls, mice prosper! The girl,
feather-soft and fragrant, shows
wide eyes to her helper,
who frowns and shuffles
leaflets. Habitat, she says.
He bobs his head.
Do you cry at night for the dodo?
I demand to know. My skin crinkles
and flakes. Bring back, I say, the shaggy
mastodon! But they are gone,
giggling along the walk an incantation
against lap robes and incontinence.
Other will sign the neatly numbered
pages, certain of change and time on endless
time to plan and do, while I
consider the plight of the snowy owl.
There is no saving us.
“Neva Hacker's poetry is born out of the wisdom that comes to mature women who have
experienced life's deepest emotions.”—St. Paul Pioneer Press
“These poems share a single crispness in tone. The attitude of the speaker is always
forthright. Hacker never hesitates. Her poems are surprisingly direct without
any apology or explanation.” —Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
“Neva V. Hacker's first collection, My World, My Fingerhold, My Bygod Apple,
follows a particularly perceptive speaker through a lifetime of experience.
Piecemeal, we learn of a broken marriage, a dead daughter, another with a drug
problem, an array of relatives, friends, and neighbors, and a 'place' that is
very real. What one comes away with is a sense of the resiliency that inhabits
the human spirit. Hacker has painted a detailed and often touching portrait of
‘the real thing”: a life rich with the particulars of human experience that
make the work of the memory—like the work of the poet—an exercise in
resurrection by which the past never dies but is continually reanimated.” —Prairie Schooner