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Up,
Barbara Crooker (bio)

up, up from the dead, the crocus resurrect
themselves, unscroll their tiny prayer flags—
purple, white, and gold—thumb their noses
at winter’s drab. Here we are, they announce,
just when you thought we weren’t coming.
Their striped leaves pierce the ground, a corona
of nails. And how the bees love them, bumbling
into their hearts, their egg-yolk stamens. Soon,
the daffodils will ring their yellow chimes,
and hyacinths will cense the air. But right now,
there’s only one flower, and it’s going for broke,
spilling its jar of wet paint in the perennial border,
sending up road flares, breaking out in song.

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