I’m the author of six volumes of poetry; Barbara Crooker: Selected Poems is the most recent. I’ve been a recipient of three Pennsylvania State Arts Council Fellowships, The Word Press First Book Award, The Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, the W. B. Yeats Poetry Prize, and others. www.barbaracrooker.com
Concerning Things That Can Be Doubled
Dutch jump rope, two girls in braids
twirling the ropes until they blur.
Crosses, dares, talk, or its fancy French
cousin, entendre. Header, date, breasted
serge suit. Team, time, troubles. It's this,
or nothing. Boiler, barrel, bed, the blind's
bind that puts us in jeopardy. Cattle brands.
Shots of Scotch. Decker buses. You.
And here I am, of two minds on the subject,
slowly rocking and talking to myself.
-from Line Dance (Word Press, 2008)
for Don and Gail
I want to raise this glass of Côtes du Rhone
quivering in the last light, to you, old friends.
I want to pretend we have an unbroken string
of days like this ahead of us, the sun turning
the world to melted gold, the sky’s blue bowl
cupping our heads, the three of us sitting
around the table, talking. No stroke is in
this conversation, or cancer surgery;
that darkness lies ahead. In my hand,
two equal strands of blue and tan
rope in a lover’s knot, the favor
from your anniversary party:
each cord flexible enough to move
around the other, yet inseparable,
something in this broken
world that holds, cannot be untied.
-first appeared in The Comstock Review, 2012
©2016 Barbara Crooker