“Sometimes, I Am Startled Out of Myself,” by Barbara Crooker

like this morning, when the wild geese came squawking,
flapping their rusty hinges, and something about their trek
across the sky made me think about my life, the places
of brokenness, the places of sorrow, the places where grief
has strung me out to dry. And then the geese come calling,
the leader falling back when tired, another taking her place.
Hope is borne on wings. Look at the trees. They turn to gold
for a brief while, then lose it all each November.
Through the cold months, they stand, take the worst
weather has to offer. And still, they put out shy green leaves
come April, come May. The geese glide over the cornfields,
land on the pond with its sedges and reeds.
You do not have to be wise. Even a goose knows how to find
shelter, where the corn still lies in the stubble and dried stalks.
All we do is pass through here, the best way we can.
They stitch up the sky, and it is whole again.

“Sometimes, I Am Startled Out of Myself,” by Barbara Crooker, from Radiance. © Word Press, 2005.

17 thoughts on ““Sometimes, I Am Startled Out of Myself,” by Barbara Crooker

  1. Mike Mirarchi

    I love this poem. And I love Barbara Crooker. She probably cracks my top five favorite contemporary poets. If you don’t know her poetry, order any one of her books on Amazon. She never fails to delight. 🙂 She lives in Foglesville, PA, about an hour away from Philadelphia, where I live. This past summer, a friend of mine who also is a big fan of hers drove up to Foglesville and took Barbara Crooker out to lunch. It was so cool meeting her in person! She’s so kind and warm-hearted and down to earth. It was one of the highlights of my summer. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Mike Mirarchi

        She really was so delightful in person, Christy! My friend and I are hoping to take her to lunch again this summer (we want to make it an annual pilgrimage 😉 ).


  2. Mike Mirarchi

    Here’s another Barbara Crooker poem I really like:

    Resistance Poem #7
    For Marjorie Stelmach

    Despite being crushed by a late spring storm,
    foot and a half of snow, ice, and lies, the crocuses
    are blooming their little orange hearts out,
    and there, in the perennial bed, even though
    their stems were bent parallel to the ground,
    daffodils, voices of the Resistance, open
    their yellow mouths, rising up out of the duff
    and detritus: Winter will not win.
    The earth abides.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Dick, I’m looking forward to reading—and sharing—more too. She’s a relatively new poet to me.
      I’m happy how well received her piece has been today. Another friend says she’s a lovely lady, too!

      Appreciate your note! C-


    1. Christy Anna Beguins

      What a beautiful sentiment, Phyllis, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment.

      I have another poem by Ms. Crooker scheduled for tomorrow. She writes beautifully.


  3. Reblogged this on David J. Bauman and commented:
    I somehow got lost from some of my favorite blogs for a while. Thank you to Brian Dean Powers for bringing Words of the Year back to me. A few days ago I shared my reading of a poem about the Towhee by Barbara Crooker. And Brian shared this and another called “A Congregation of Grackles” in return.


  4. Pingback: “Sometimes, I Am Startled Out of Myself,” by Barbara Crooker – David J. Bauman

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