Summer Poem

Childhood Memories Of Summer

Prolific poet Barbara Crooker recaptures on a flat canvas (paper, words) the three-dimensional world of her childhood. The poem takes a deeper emotional turn towards the end.

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The Fifties

© more by Barbara Crooker

Published: July 2, 2020

We spent those stifling endless summer afternoons
on hot front porches, cutting paper dolls from Sears
catalogs, making up our own ideal families
complete with large appliances
and an all-occasion wardrobe with fold-down
paper tabs.
Sometimes we left crayons on the cement
landing, just to watch them melt.
We followed the shade around the house.
Time was a jarful of pennies, too hot
to spend, stretching long and sticky,
a brick of Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy.
Tomorrow’d be more of the same,
ending with softball or kickball,
then hide and seek in the mosquitoey dark.
Fireflies, like connect-the-dots or find-the-hidden-
words, rose and glowed, winked on and off,
their cool fires coded signals
of longing and love
that we would one day
learn to speak.

Published in Radiance (Word Press, 2005).


Monet famously said that gardening and painting were the only things he knew how to do; change that to gardening and writing, and that describes Barbara Crooker. Barbara Crooker is a poetry editor for Italian-Americana, and author of twelve chapbooks and nine full-length books of poetry. Some Glad Morning, Pitt Poetry Series, University of Pittsburgh Poetry Press, 2019, is the latest. She has received many awards for her writing, and Barbara’s work has appeared in a variety of literary journals and anthologies. In addition to writing and editing poetry, Barbara teaches writing workshops at conferences all around the country. She is also the caregiver to her son, who has autism, and Barbara took care of her mother during the last eight years of her life.



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