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This Summer Day
Barbara Crooker


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.

© by Barbara Crooker.
Used with the author’s permission.

Barbara Crooker’s award-winning poems have appeared in numerous magazines, journals, and anthologies and have been featured on the BBC, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company), The Writer's Almanac, and in the Poetry at Noon series at the Library of Congress. Recipient of many fellowships and residencies in the U.S., as well as in Ireland and France, she was also a Grammy finalist for her part in the audio version of the popular anthology, Grow Old Along with Me--the Best is Yet to Be. Barbara lives in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania. Learn more about Barbara at





Post New Comment:
I see you and I share a spot the upcoming anthology, WHAT BUT THE MUSIC, so honored.
Posted 11/16/2020 06:57 PM
What a delightful poem! Now I want a nice, ripe tomato!
Posted 10/17/2020 05:54 PM
Posted 09/05/2020 04:39 PM
It's true it's been harder to see the borders between seasons this year... What a glorious celebration of a buzzing and busy garden!
Posted 09/05/2020 10:58 AM
that big fat tomato of a sun--that's too wonderful!
Posted 09/01/2020 05:16 PM
Wilda Morris:
Gorgeous picture of the waning days of summer!
Posted 08/31/2020 10:24 PM
Lori Levy:
Beautiful! I'm a fan of your poems.
Posted 08/31/2020 03:40 PM
Jean Colonomos-1:
Barbara Crocker does it again with her fun familiarity with gardens. I love it from the first line to the last.
Posted 08/31/2020 12:00 PM
Good stuff!!!!
Posted 08/31/2020 11:09 AM
"Rejoice in the day's long sugar". I love this line!! Nice poem.
Posted 08/31/2020 10:55 AM
michael escoubas:
Well done Barbara! As usual you place fortunate readers smack in the middle of the garden.
Posted 08/31/2020 09:21 AM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
One of my favorite poets, Barbara Crooker has delivered again with this delightful poem chock full of unique metaphors like "that big fat tomato of a sun" and "The air hums with the busy traffic of butterflies and bees, who navigate without lane markers, stop signs, directional signals."
Posted 08/31/2020 08:47 AM
I am tickled pink by this poem.
Posted 08/31/2020 08:46 AM
Gilbert Allen:
An elegant tribute to August 31.
Posted 08/31/2020 08:38 AM
Stephen Anderson:
Yes, yes and yes, Barbara! As wierd as the pandemic summer has been, it�s hard to let go!
Posted 08/31/2020 08:30 AM
Larry Schug:
I like the way this poem grows within itself like a musical piece reaching a crescendo, the tomato a loud clashing of cymbals in that magnificent final line.
Posted 08/31/2020 08:20 AM

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