Night opens its woven basket, spills
spools of thread on the worn rug
of the sky. Places a silver thimble
to light the way. So sweep the hearth,
light the fire; winter is coming.
Look in the mirror swirled
with smoke, turn over a card,
sprinkle salt in the doorway.
A single candle flickers,
drowns in its own wax.
Barbara Crooker’s previous publications are: The Valparaiso Poetry Review, South Carolina Review, Tar River Review, The Hollins Critic, The Green Mountains Review, The Denver Quarterly, The Bedford Introduction to Literature, and Garrison Keiller’s Good Poems for Hard Times and Good Poems American Places, plus her work has been read twenty times on his Writer’s Almanac. She has been fortunate to receive poetry writing fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Her books are Radiance, winner of the Word Press First Book Award (2005) and finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize; Line Dance (Word Press, 2008), winner of the 2009 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence; More (C&R Press, 2010); and Gold (The Poeima Poetry Series, Cascade Books, 2013).