Summer Poem

This Summer Day

Barbara Crooker is a poet, editor, and writing teacher who started this piece during a workshop she taught outside in a beautiful garden. One of her pieces of writing advice is “see what’s around you” and “write through your senses.” The quote about the shady side of the garden came from a conversation with a book group friend about being in the arc of their lives. And although there is nothing in the poem that reflects this, her mother’s long dying is in there as well, in the deep background.

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This Summer Day

© more by Barbara Crooker

Published: June 30, 2020

That sprinkler is at it again,
hissing and spitting its arc
of silver, and the parched
lawn is tickled green. The air
hums with the busy traffic
of butterflies and bees,
who navigate without lane
markers, stop signs, directional
signals. One of my friends
says we’re now in the shady
side of the garden, having moved
past pollination, fruition,
and all that bee-buzzed jazz,
into our autumn days. But I say wait.
It’s still summer, and the breeze is full
of sweetness spilled from a million petals;
it wraps around your arms, lifts the hair
from the back of your neck.
The salvia, coreopsis, roses
have set the borders on fire,
and the peaches waiting to be picked
are heavy with juice. We are still ripening
into our bodies, still in the act of becoming.
Rejoice in the day’s long sugar.
Praise that big fat tomato of a sun.

Published in Small Rain (Purple Flag Press, 2014).

ABOUT THE POET:

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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