This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Barbara Crooker.


In the dark divide of mid-December
when the skies are heavy, when the wind comes down
from the north, feathers of snow on its white breath,
when the days are short and the nights are cold,
we reach the solstice, nothing outside moving.
It’s hard to believe in the resurrection
of the sun, its lemony light, hard to remember
humidity, wet armpits, frizzy hair.
Though the wick burns black and the candle flickers,
love is born in the world again, in the damp
straw, in some old barn.

from Small Rain (Purple Flag Press, 2014)

Barbara Crooker‘s work has appeared in many journals, including The Christian Century, Christianity & Literature, The Christian Science Monitor, America, Sojourners, Saint Katherine Review, Windhover, Perspectives, The Cresset, Tiferet, Spiritus, Assisi, Dappled Things, Ruminate, Rock & Sling, Radix, and Relief,    It’s been anthologized in places such as  The Bedford Introduction to Literature (Bedford/St. Martin’s), Imago Dei:  Poems from Christianity and Literature (Abilene Christian University Press),  Looking for God in All the Right Places (Loyola Press), and Summer: A Spiritual Biography of the Season and Spring:  A Spiritual Biography of the Season (SkyLights Paths Publishers).  Her books are: Radiance (Word Press, 2005),  winner of the 2005 Word Press Poetry prize and Finalist for The Paterson Poetry Prize, 2006;  Line Dance (Word Press, 2008), winner of the 2009 Paterson Poetry Prize for Literary Excellence; More (C&R Press, 2010); Gold (Cascade Press, a division of Wipf and Stock, in their Poeima Poetry Series, 2013); Small Rain (Purple Flag, a division of Virtual Artists Collective, 2014); Barbara Crooker: Selected Poems (FutureCycle Press, 2015); Les Fauves (C&R Press, 2017); The Book of Kells (Cascade Press, Poeima Poetry Series, 2018); and Some Glad Morning, in the Pitt Poetry Series (University of Pittsburgh Poetry Press).

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