In the Middle

by Barbara Crooker

of a life that's as complicated as everyone else's,
struggling for balance, juggling time.
The mantle clock that was my grandfather's
has stopped at 9:20; we haven't had time
to get it repaired. The brass pendulum is still,
the chimes don't ring. One day I look out the window,
green summer, the next, the leaves have already fallen,
and a grey sky lowers the horizon. Our children almost grown,
our parents gone, it happened so fast. Each day, we must learn
again how to love, between morning's quick coffee
and evening's slow return. Steam from a pot of soup rises,
mixing with the yeasty smell of baking bread. Our bodies
twine, and the big black dog pushes his great head between;
his tail, a metronome, 3/4 time. We'll never get there,
Time is always ahead of us, running down the beach, urging
us on faster, faster, but sometimes we take off our watches,
sometimes we lie in the hammock, caught between the mesh
of rope and the net of stars, suspended, tangled up
in love, running out of time.


  1. This piece captures very well what I've been feeling lately - and so very eloquently.

  2. "caught between the mesh of rope and the net of stars" Mmm hmmm...

  3. It is an interesting time to be a couple. That time when the kids are grown and gone and we get to learn again how to be together. I've had the whole last year doing just that. It's been interesting and trying. Lucky for him, he knows how to make me laugh and this is his saving grace.

    Maybe I should buy a hammock.

  4. Ahhh, Barbara Crooker. A wonderful poet. So nice to see her work here on your blog, which I love!


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