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Star of Wonder, Star of Light
Barbara Crooker


It’s Christmas, the year before the accident, when the earth
still seemed fixed. My husband and children are hanging
lights on the big pine tree, the one that Becky
brought home as a seedling in first grade wrapped in a damp
paper towel. I am cooking dinner while they struggle
with the wires that somehow knot themselves up in the box.
Shadows gather behind the hills. The tree turns dark green,
then black. The tangled string unravels, and they pass it
around, loop over loop, while I watch from the steamy window:
husband, son, and daughter in a circle around the tree,
their arms full of stars.

From Radiance (Word Press, 2005).
Used here 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:
What a precious poem! It seems prosaic until the last line when it suddenly becomes luminescent as poetry and not just the last line but the whole poem, much like what our speaker describes in the lighting of the tree.
Posted 12/11/2011 06:57 PM
Beautiful poem Barbara. Thank you for sending out that light among all of us.
Posted 12/10/2011 09:04 AM
Carpe Diem ... life is a fragile thing. Eloquent, Barbara.
Posted 12/10/2011 08:43 AM
Marilyn L Taylor:
Barbara, what a lovely thing. Thanks for writing this.
Posted 12/10/2011 08:05 AM
Kay Sanders:
How the ordinary can be transformed by an armful of words! Thank you, Barbara
Posted 12/10/2011 06:00 AM

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