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Barbara Crooker


In pecks and bushels
at Shoemaker’s stand, they fill
the baskets with their golden heft,
their plush shoulders, handfuls
of light. Cut in wedges arranged
on a blue-glazed plate:
slices of sun in the August sky.
Take and eat, for this is the essence
of summer, given for you, in spite of
winter’s sure return, the short grey days,
the icy nights. Right now, there are wheat
fields and sweet corn, daylilies and chicory
by the dusty roadsides; in the long dusk,
fireflies decorate the grass, rise up
to meet their doubles, the stars.

Tonight, there’s fried chicken and sliced
tomatoes, hot biscuits, butter,
and peach jam. And later, you,
next to me on the rumpled
sheets, fuzz on the curve
of your cheeks and thighs,
your slick sweat on my skin.

And tomorrow, another hot one,
and that sweet juicy sun
will pop up again, staining
the horizon red, orange, gold.

From More, (C&R Press, 2010).
Used with the author’s permission.


The author of more than 600 poems published in nearly 2000 anthologies, books, and magazines, Barbara Crooker is the recipient of numerous awards, residencies, and fellowships. A twenty-six time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, she is the author of ten chapbooks andthree full-length books, including Line Dance, which won the 2009 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence, and her latest collection, More. Barbara credits her achievements to perseverance as much as talent, and says, ?Writing poetry is not putting down whatever comes into your head, and leaving it at that, never taking it any further. Poetry involves layers, and a lot of revision. Read more about her at

Post New Comment:
Lovely to read this this morning Barbara -- as the sun is rising and there are peaches on my windowsill. Thank you!
Posted 08/31/2010 08:27 AM
What splendid images! My mouth is already watering for the peaches I put in my refrigerator!
Posted 08/28/2010 09:42 AM

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