Stage 4 Drought, North Texas

By Lynn Hoggard

Like eczema, withered patches of grass clutch dirt,

as the land slowly returns to its primeval state—

semi-arid plain. Hundred-year-old trees

curl in bit by bit, let go. Nearby lakes shrink

70 percent, continue their slow drying.

While one part of our planet slips underwater,

this part burns to ash. Months, years perhaps,

of drought to come.


I saw an armadillo, hit by a car,

die slowly. The odd otherness of its form

suggested the opposite of human,

but its feeble efforts to right itself,

the tremor in the hind leg, the cracked

carapace leaking blood, and the final

stupor spreading across the eyes

said otherwise.


In the part, the whole, our likeness.



Translator and poet Lynn Hoggard has published five books and hundreds of articles, poems, and reviews. Her most recent book, a memoir entitled Motherland, Stories and Poems from Louisiana, appeared in May 2014 from Lamar University Press. She lives in Wichita Falls, TX. In her view, poems draw forth the meanings already implicit in things.

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