Barbara Crooker's work has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Century, America, Sojourners, Perspectives, Literature and Belief, The Cresset, Tiferet, Rock & Sling, and The Bedford Introduction to Literature. The winner of the 2003 Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, she has published these books: Radiance, Line Dance, and More.

Cold Easter


Not even early, but the weather's all turned around:
this April's colder than last December. Every day,
a sputter of snow that turns the air white, but the grass
burns its green fire, and nothing sticks. Nothing lasts,
my mother says, fading from my eyes, and none of the fancy
tricks in the doctor's bag can make her stay. The crocuses
have already done their only trick, bursting from the hard
ground, sending up their purple flares, but the daffodils
flourish in the cold wind, small brass sections blaring
around every shrub and bush. Replacement, the world's
oldest story. Snow clouds roll in from the north, erasing
the sky's baby blue. Tomorrow, Easter Sunday, I will pack
a wicker basket with rare lamb, white beans scented
                        with rosemary,
red wine, bring it to her Country Meadows home, the last stop
before Resurrection Cemetery, across the street. I will bring
a tarte au citron, which I made today, grating lemon rind,
squeezing out juice, cooking it in a bain-marie over a low
flame, whisking in eggs and sugar, then unsalted butter,
pale lump by pale lump. I will bring her the sun
in a crust of gold. Each of us will have a wedge,
bitter and sweet at the same time, that melts on the tongue,
snow on the lawn.