Barbara Crooker


Here, in the vernacular suburbs, lawns verb up
from curb to sidewalk, the active tense of spring.
The adjectival plantings of azaleas, rhododendrons.
The punctuation of small bulbs: pauses of crocuses,
semi-colon hyacinths whose perfume stops you short,
daffodils’ asterisky golden heads, the exclamations
of tulips: red red red. Though textbooks caution
the road to hell is paved with adverbs, spring
comes at us riotously, vigorously,
with a break-your-heart flourish.
Meanwhile, the house, the one solid noun
in this story, rests on its foundation, happy
to be modified, ready to open its door
to the other noun, the collective one,
that’s just now coming up the driveway.

Barbara Crooker

is the author of Radiance, which won the 2005 Word Press First Book competition and was a finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize; Line Dance (Word Press), which won the 2009 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence; More (C&R Press); Gold (Cascade Books); Small Rain (Purple Flag Press); and Barbara Crooker: Selected Poems (FutureCycle Press). Her poetry has been read on the BBC, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company), and by Garrison Keillor on The Writer's Almanac.