Vox Populi

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Barbara Crooker: Star of Wonder, Star of Light

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. 

Copyright 2005 Barbara Crooker. From Radiance (Word Press, 2005). Included in Vox Populi by permission of the author.

Barbara Crooker’s many collections of poetry include Some Glad Morning (Pitt, 2019). She lives in Pennsylvania.


10 comments on “Barbara Crooker: Star of Wonder, Star of Light

  1. Cathy Bohler
    February 19, 2023

    I read your poem Sometimes I’m startled out of myself, printed in Poetry of Presence, went to your web site and read more. Touched and grateful for someone I never met before.


  2. Lisa Zimmerman
    December 25, 2022

    Quietly chilling and so beautiful💙


    • Vox Populi
      December 25, 2022

      Barbara shows us how to write a happy poem tinged with the memory of tragedy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbara Huntington
    December 21, 2022

    It’s Christmas. The year before…. And my mind goes to other Christmases before… and I can’t hold back the tears anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Rosemerry
    December 21, 2022

    So beautiful this poem, that final image. So powerful, whatever is unspoken here, but felt. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Vox Populi
      December 21, 2022

      I agree, Rosemerry. The power of the poem lies in the words: “the year before the accident, when the earth still seemed fixed.” There’s an unspoken tragedy in the background which gives special poignancy to the pleasant language.

      Liked by 2 people

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This entry was posted on December 21, 2022 by in Poetry, spirituality and tagged , , , , , , .

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