IN THE MIDDLE



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 you look out the window,
green summer, the next, and 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 is 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.



Barbara Crooker
from Yarrow 1998
The need not to look foolish
is one of youth's many burdens;
as we get older we are exempted
from more and more,
and float upward in our heedlessness...
~ John Updike
Love/Life Poems
The First Fruit Salad
Almanac of Last Things
Lighting Your Birthday Cake
What We Need/First Calf
Emily Rose
Life
After an Absence
Crossroads
On the Way to Work
Misery Loves Company
Having Come This Far
First He Looked Confused
The Country of Marriage
Love Poem
In the Department Store
Poem for the Family
The Perfect Day
What She Was Wearing
These Love Poems
Forgetfulness
The Wildest Word
The Oldest Cowboy
The sun has burst the sky
Riveted
LAUNDRY DAY
LINKS
SHOE BOX
SITE MAP
SCRAPBOOK
POETRY
WELCOME!
VIEWS
DIURNAL
QUOTES
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Crusoe
Field Notes
Aunt Bobby
After Love
Lute Music
Cabbage Moths
Cutting the Cake
Advice to Men Seeking Love
Ex-boyfriends in Heaven
Anne Porter's Poetry
Deep
Nature Morte Au Plat Et Pommes
Failing and Flying
Let Hours
Early in the Morning
My Son
How to Like It
Fireflies
No Solicitations Allowed
In the Middle
My Methodist Grandmother Said
Some Talking in Bed
The Hammock
It Is Marvelous
Geology
Girlfriends
In My Own Mind
Peacock Display
In Praise of Imperfect Love
Great Cathedrals
Raking
Tomorrow
You Must Accept
September Twelfth, 2001
Slow Dancing on the Highway
Desire
Still
Cinderella's Diary
They Sit Together on the Porch
Yes
After Making Love We Hear Footsteps
Second Chance
What We Want
Vocations Club
Hug
Gamin
Boarding a Bus
I Married You
The Irrational Numbers of Longing
Down on My Knees
The Guest House
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Idyll
Marginalia
Mother, In Love at Sixty
Why I Have A Crush On You
The Marriage-Bed
Love After Love
On Faith
Briefly It Enters, Briefly Speaks
Habitation
Nude Descending a Staircase
The judge was decent, but...
The Mutes
Mahogany China
Heaven, 1963
The Blue Robe
Instructions
The Shirt
Losing Track
Marriage
Wedding
Sweet Darkness
The Fight
Passionate Shepherd to His Love
November Again Again
Softly
Love at First Sight
Sex Ed
Love Does That
The Portent
You Touch Me
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