Tuesday Poem: Barbara Crooker, In the Late Summer Garden

In the Late Summer Garden

Green beans lose their adolescent slenderness,
broaden in plump pods.  One pumpkin swells,
fills a corner with its orange lamp.
At night skunks slink in to dig for grubs;
in the morning we see their small excavations.
My friend's cancer has grown, spread to her femur
and liver.  Everything that can be pruned has now been taken.
Tomatoes spark starry yellow blossoms, hope against hope.
Some will turn into hard green marbles, but the sun
has moved past equinox, days shorten and cool.
My son is learning his multiplication tables;
he flips flash cards at the maple table.
Numbers multiply like random cells.  I am learning
the simpler but harder facts of subtraction. .......

For the rest of the poem click on the link.

I'm travelling at the moment so have put this up in advance -  A wonderful poem by Barbara Crooker which appeared in the Valparaiso Poetry Review.  Just click the link.  It's rather sad in the beginning, but a great sense of seasonal rhythm and the natural cycle of life.   Feeling a bit autumnal myself - first of the autumn storms yesterday leaving us without internet for a while - and sad at leaving Italy which I'm growing to love more and more.


  1. Wonderful - just wish I'd written this! I've been thinking a lot about gardens recently, especially after a recent visit to the Chelsea Physic Garden. The garden was moving from late summer to autumn. I always find this a poignant time, one in which I have a tendency to look back - bitter sweet I guess - like the poem.

    Safe travelling wherever you are

  2. Great poem--love the seasonality and poignancy.


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