Barbara Brooks, Author, Poems, Poet, The Catbird Sang, Hillsborough, Orange County of North Carolina, Finishing Line Press.

Published Poems by Barbara Brooks

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Morning sun, creeping
up behind charcoal hills,
brushed clouds thunderstorm gray,
sunrise pink and yellow, painting
the day's first tapestry as I drove
to work at the hospital.

The mother watches the waiting
room clock crawl toward visiting
hours. The baby, hands twitching,
sleeps in the stroller.

I help the father, his face unshaven
and hospital pale, shuffle
from the intensive care unit
toward the drowsy child.
With shaking hand, he brushes
the silk-soft hair and whispers,
"How are you, Will? Haven't seen you
in two weeks. You've grown"

He touches the baby
as if he were taking
a butterfly from the net.

Asheville Poetry Review

On the road to see Mrs. Dye,

I pass bleached buildings
in different stages of collapse.
Overnight, like fallen chimney
her vertebrae crack.
In a chair, pushed to the side
of the nursing home hall,
her jaw hangs
like a door
on an eroded hinge.
Signs posted warn a structure
is unsafe, the windows

as her stare from the railed bed.
Layers of her history are lost

in the weathered paint. Her thoughts, remains
of a starling's nest in a burned-out light,
blow across a ragged yard.



Her husband offers
her favorite,
a soft boiled egg,
but she pushes
the spoon away,
on a sip of coffee.

I can't imagine
how it is to watch
your wife die.

I've been here three
times before; to teach
her to get out of bed, to make
her muscles stronger.

What do you want?
She's 93.
I can't work miracles.

I watch him move
her from the bed
to the wheelchair.
I have no more
to show him.

He talks about
feeding tubes
or letting nature
take its course.
He still doesn't
know what to do.

On good days,
she spends afternoons
on the deck, pushes
herself around


As we drive the back road
to the hospital, redbuds swell
to blossom. On this day
of your surgery, flowers
stage themselves against
the gray-rain sky.

Tree-eating mowers shred
the greening branches
as the surgeon will slice
cells from your breast.

Flower by flower,
magenta falls from slashed limbs,
covering the road's shoulder.
Section by section,
cells cover the slides,
the pathologist will render
a judgement.

On the wounded boughs,
the remaining leaves
begin to mend
the damage
of steel.



Shouldn't of gone to bed last night.
Elvena was hurting
in her chest and stomach.
I gave her one of my nitro tablets.

Wrapped in my blankets, I didn't hear
her. Don't know what woke me early.
Must have missed hearing her shift in bed.
Found her just as she was,
tried to find her pulse but she was cold.
Should've stayed up.

Called EMS. Wasn't long before I heard
sirens, lights knifing through the curtains.
In the doorway, I leaned on my walker
as the medics tried to revive her.
Should've stayed up.

Don't know what plans
are being made for me now.
Shouldn't of gone to bed last night.

Shouldn't of gone to bed last night.

Margie Review


In hurricane season, the spotter
plane flies through the turbulence
into the eye. Stop signs snap
in the wind, the porch hammock
twists on eye hooks.

Seed potatoes sprout in the basement.
each pale eye must grow
from a cube of the mother
until the tendril breaks the earth

Her parents shake her shoulder,
call her name. When her head is still,
closed eyes roam underneath their lids.
When her eyes slit open
they think she is waking up.

She stares ahead; but does not focus.
Even the therapist thinks
she is tracking his finger;
but her pupils,
narrow columns of black,
stare into beyond.

Margie Review

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