Monday, January 13, 2020

The Poem That Changed My Life: Revisited

     Back in July of 2013, I told the story of how I found out I was a Middle Child in a post titled “Poetic Injustice: The Poem That Changed My Life.” There’s no father son chat about the birds and bees and Middle Children. It’s not the kind of thing someone actually tells you. You don’t get a certified letter in the mail or anything. Nobody presents you with a certificate. You kind of just figure it out, and of course by the time you do, the damage is already done. In my case, I found out via a poem.
     You know how poetry can really touch your heart? Well, this poem punched me in the face. My mother had clipped it out from some woman’s magazine and taped it to the kitchen wall in the house I grew up in where it stayed until I was full grown adult. So I saw this thing all the time. It was called “Middle Children,” written by Mary Margret Milbrae.

LISTEN to the poem

     In my previous post, I offered a thorough analysis of the poem and my many issues with it. I came to the conclusion that this poem did not at all accurately capture the essence of what it means to be a Middle Child. At least not my experience as a Middle Child.
     After all these years of this poem haunting me, I couldn’t take it anymore. I spoke about all of this on Episode 2 of “Pay No Attention to this Podcast.” Most people took the title of my podcast literally, however, so they never heard it. Okay, maybe it wasn’t the smartest name for a podcast, but I digress...
     I had finally had enough. I had to put the ghost of that poem to rest. So I wrote my own Middle Child Poem. A poetic rebuttal, if you will.
     So, take that Mary Margret Milbrae.

 LISTEN to the poem

Special thanks to Eleanor Handley and Michael Satow for their beautiful readings. 
Neither are Middle Children, so that was very magnanimous of them. And a bit surprising.

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Middle Children need to be heard!