To Be Held
by Linda Hogan
Linda Hogan is a Chickasaw novelist, essayist, poet, and environmentalist. She is author of Mean Spirit, winner of the Oklahoma Book Award and the Mountains and Plains Book Award, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her latest book of essays, The Radiant Lives of Animals, is forthcoming from Beacon Press.
Ann Hamilton is a visual artist internationally recognized for her large-scale multimedia installations, public projects, and performance collaborations. Her major commissions include projects for Waterfront Seattle, Park Avenue Armory, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, The Guggenheim Museum, and many others.
To be held
by the light
was what I wanted,
to be a tree drinking the rain,
no longer parched in this hot land.
To be roots in a tunnel growing
but also to be sheltering the inborn leaves
and the green slide of mineral
down the immense distances
into infinite comfort
and the land here, only clay,
still contains and consumes
the thirsty need
the way a tree always shelters the unborn life
waiting for the healing
after the storm
which has been our life.