The HyperTexts

Lynne Hugo

Lynne Hugo is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship recipient who has also received grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Her memoir, Where The Trail Grows Faint, won the Riverteeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize and her novel, A Matter of Mercy, received the 2015 Independent Publishers Silver Medal for Best North-East Fiction. She has published seven novels, one of which became a Lifetime Original Movie of the Month. Through the Ohio Arts Council’s renowned Arts in Education program, Lynne has taught creative writing to hundreds of schoolchildren. Born and educated in New England, Lynne and her husband live in Ohio with a yellow Lab feared by squirrels in a three state area. She has a website where you can learn more about her books and purchase them.

Watching My Daughter Skate: In Training

Here is what I must do
in the space between heartbeats
when her body is an upthrust of wings;
release her. In the spinning moment, fragile as my bones
and hers, when everything
I love is mortal
and gleaming,
let her go; let the thin ice
of my heart crack from
the weight of watching;
I am in training to sleep beneath a sky
that changes night by night of
its own accord,
let the white stars stay
up or fall
without me

Evening Prayer

As I lay me down to sleep,
unfold the covers in an amber
circle of bedside light,
the wrinkled hand with ridged nails
that lifts the sheet hardly seems my own,
but my mother’s, when she was
already old, straightening the sheets
around me, stroking my back
in the apple-green room that was mine.

Back turned from the light and
face half to pillow, you sleep
chest rising in small sighs
for something just out of reach–
like the plaintive mews we heard
in the children’s room, when by
nightlight we watched the
dreams flicker on their faces,
as I watch yours now

and notice your hair more gray,
like my father’s, when he was
already old. I consider this
and use my roughened hand
to stroke your back, write on it
with a ridge-nailed finger through
the cotton across your back,
what I want you to know
if I should die before I wake.

Praying For No Rain


He remembered when he’d been
a child, the times he’d prayed,
ferocious red prayer blooming
at the edge of his weedy Sunday School faith,
that it not rain the night
it was his turn to pitch.
the long twilights when he threw blinding
white suns at batters made him a believer; sometimes he would genuflect
as he’d seen players do on t.v.,
genuflect and spit, hiding that maybe-
heart of his success
from his Methodist parents.
If it rained, he was being punished;
he usually knew what for, then,
what transgression had been fairly noted. But, his baseball years gone,
was the word that choked him now; the system was inconsistent, mercy
as capricious as rain falling
on the just.
As his wife sickened and sickened
and he half-carried her everywhere
he thought of genuflecting, spitting.
Once he lit a candle
beneath stained glass windows the bled
color like eternal wounds.
We are becoming more and more
the children we were, he noticed,
and when he couldn’t get the old system
out of his mind, began
to keep his thoughts carefully
away from prayer

The HyperTexts