Sunday, July 25, 2010

living in-between

we wake to a faint cry
push off the heavy duvet we sleep under
in the thick of summer
filtered through air conditioning

and i sigh at our circumstance

little one grabs his fuzzy blanket
i hoist him onto the change pad
which has lasted through three babies
thanks to a layer of duct tape

and i chuckle at my ingenuity

i fix good, hot mush for breakfast
stir in blueberries from the freezer
shake dinosaur sprinkles on top
so the boys will love it

and i smile at their luck

the boys become super heroes
in our toy-filled living room
learn the alphabet electronically
grab the sky on their trampoline

and i wish every child had it this good

i flip on the basement light
dodge cobwebs, wires and pipes
stuff clean laundry into the dryer
without dropping any onto the dirty floor

and i am struck by the contrast

and there's more:

shiny laptop screen
to rippled, single-pane windows
dressed in made-over curtains

stainless steel fridge
and imitation leather couch set
to lifting tiles and bowing hardwood

shiny red minivan
and hammock swings
to weedful lawn...

it's funny, this spot our family occupies
on a rung that hovers in-between:
a decadent poverty, if you will.

in a lot of ways, it's easier:
not having to maintain straight hedges
or dustless windowsills...
knowing there will never be a reflection
on my rented floors...
it frees up time and energy for other things.

and a lot of the time, it makes me think:
about North America,
its sacrifices and its ideals...
about the third world, about developing nations,
their sacrifices and their ideals...

about hurting people everywhere:
those who keenly feel it
and those too rich to know they're in pain.

it's where we live,
here in-between.
our home is always open.

because we're not Home yet.


  1. i wish every child had it this good too. you make a beautiful home.

  2. i was thinking about that a bit too. i was like, "hmm, they've got some nice stuff in a funny house.... cool! all the better to LIVE in!"

  3. and it seems to me that no matter how good or how bad i've got it, i'm still burdened for those who are suffering in this world. if i've got it good, i feel sad for them. if i've got it bad, i know it's not as bad as many others out there.