Barbara Crooker

CONSIDER THE KIWI How inedible it looks, a fuzzy tennis ball.Slice it open, examine its jade flesh, paleheart, the embroidery of black seeds,olive spokes fanning out from the center.It tastes like the sun going downin the sea; happinessyou can eat with a spoon. THE DOVES OF DUFUR Hollow flutes of longing and desire,the steady thrum of their call and response—Their white tails flare, borders of pale lightthat marks the horizon just afterthe evening sun goes down. Heavy-breasted, awkward flyers, they can barelymake it from tree to tree. Plumage of dust,of gravel roads. They flutter, wobble, lurchto the ground. They ring us in with song. WHAT THE WIND SAID I send light clattering off the leaves of the cottonwoods.I am the rush in your ears, the roar of the sea. The hot breath of the sun. I sweep leaves from the corners, clean up the deadfall. I drive women crazy at night; drive men to drink.I flatten the wheat, make it bow to the ground.Nothing can stop me. I go where I will. Barbara Crooker is a poetry editor for Italian Americana and author of nine books; Some Glad Morning, Pitt Poetry Series, is the latest. Her awards include the Best Book of Poetry 2018 from Poetry by the Sea, the WB Yeats Society of New York Award, the Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, and three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships. Her work appears in a variety of anthologies, including The Bedford Introduction to Literature. She believes kindness is the only path forward in our troubled world.