• Brian M Winningham

A Middle Life


I am the first and only son of middle children.

Born in the middle of the night

On the middle day,

Of the middle month,

In a middle year,

In a middle decade.


Delivered by a middle teen-aged mom,

In the middle of our Country,

In the middle of our state,

In the middle of our town,

In the middle of our hospital,

Into the middle of a killer’s hands.


I made it to my middle teen-aged years,

Before I was taken from the middle of all I knew,

To the middle of nowhere and

To the middle of something new.


CLICKETY-CLACK! down the middle of the track!

BOOM! Goes the train in the middle of Dad’s truck!

CRASH! Goes the bread truck to our car in the middle the road!

SMACK! Goes my forehead to the middle of the post!

CRACK! Goes my knee in the middle of my leg!

RIP! Goes the middle of the fabric of our lives!

Watching Mom struggle in the middle of her bed…

Crying in the middle of the night “Why am I not dead?!”


I find myself floating in the middle of the air.

Angry green and red hornets buzzing my middle ear,

Scared all the way to my middle but still being, still doing.

Move to the middle and then move out shooting!


I wake up in the middle of my family,

In the middle of a career.

My middle getting bigger year after year.

How do I find middle ground?

Stop crying from the losses in the middle of the night?

Banish this ache from the middle of my chest?

How do I remove this stain from the middle of a soul?

In a middle year,

In a middle decade,

In a middle life?

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