Meaningful Poem

Reflecting On The Passage Of Time

We’d bought a hammock for our son, who has autism, as it was supposed to help with some of his sensory issues. But we decided we really liked using it! And somehow, that made me start meditating about time.

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In The Middle

© more by Barbara Crooker

Published: August 8, 2020

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.

Published in Radiance (Word Press, 2005).

ABOUT THE POET:

Monet famously said that gardening and painting were the only things he knew how to do; change that to gardening and writing, and that describes Barbara Crooker. Barbara Crooker is a poetry editor for Italian-Americana, and author of twelve chapbooks and nine full-length books of poetry. Some Glad Morning, Pitt Poetry Series, University of Pittsburgh Poetry Press, 2019, is the latest. She has received many awards for her writing, and Barbara’s work has appeared in a variety of literary journals and anthologies. In addition to writing and editing poetry, Barbara teaches writing workshops at conferences all around the country. She is also the caregiver to her son, who has autism, and Barbara took care of her mother during the last eight years of her life.

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