Blessed Are the Middle Children

by Andrew Analore

Blessed are their hand-
me-down jeans, the denim
frayed at the knees,
on the back a yellow
“Keep on Truckin’” patch.

Blessed is the breath
of their brother
or sister, asleep in a bed
across the room –
blessed, too, are the cold
apartments in the forgotten
railroad towns where,
as adults, they’ll pace
the carpet at night, afraid
to sleep alone and wondering
when the moon
slipped so far away.

Blessed are  the family trips:
They’ll ride  the 12 hours
to Michigan  in the rear of
a Volare hatchback.
Wedged between
Samsonites, they’ll
miss dad stories
about the pet monkey
he had as a child.

Blessed are the middle children,
the birthright diplomats, making peace
for everyone but themselves.

Blessed are the shadows they live in
and blessed are the shadows they cast.

Andrew Analore lives and writes in Madison, Wisconsin. His poetry has appeared in journals such as The Stolen Island Review, Technology of The Sun and Sheila-Na-Gig. He is the 2020 recipient of the Bluegrass Writing Studio’s Emerging Writer Award.