Two poems by Barbara Crooker


Night knocks
over its cup of black coffee,
but I’m too tired to wipe it up.
I’m sitting in a metal lawn
chair thinking it’s too much
work to lift my wine glass, drink
the last bit of Blanc de Blancs.
And it’s too dark to see
if there are any fruit flies in it,
gone to their happy reward.
Fireflies rise
from the tired lawn,
flash half-heartedly,
“Pick me, pick me.”



Singing over rock, breaking over riprap,
strands that separate, then braid again.
Three blue jays land on the grass,
mirrors of a sky that’s in love with them.
They flap off, all discourse and discord,
like a squawk of politicians.  The water
keeps moving, seeking lower ground,
always in a hurry, muttering to itself.
Water says life is nothing but a brief
rush, a gush over obstacles,
and then, the sea.


Barbara Crooker is a poetry editor for Italian Americana and author of nine books; Some Glad Morning, Pitt Poetry Series, is the latest. Her awards include the Best Book of Poetry 2018 from Poetry by the Sea, the WB Yeats Society of New York Award, the Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, and three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships. Her work appears in a variety of anthologies, including The Bedford Introduction to Literature.