The Place Of In-Betweens

Kristen Gunning Poetry

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Each night, as I leave my father,

where he lay dying,

bitter air stings my lungs,

shortening my already shallow breath.

The sky is scattered with stars,

and the Moon, only willing to reveal her crescent,

sits low in the West.

He is caught between two strong currents, now.

This place of in-betweens:

between Lives, between Loves, between Breaths.

I’m being pulled in more than one direction, as well.

I’ve been called here, from deep within,

compelled to witness, and be part of a Journey,

that began so long ago.

Here, I am comforted.

Here: where Frank Sinatra sings eternal,

and, I know, without a doubt,

I am loved.

Yet, I feel the current beckoning me toward home.

Home: where I Love Lucy is booming from the tv,

the kettle is on the boil,

and my family is getting ready to eat.

This place of in-betweens:

between Loves, between Visits,

between Life, and Death.

I count the space between his breaths.

I’ll be back in a bit. I tell him.

He does not respond.

I Love you. I say, gathering my strength.

Arriving home, my nightly Ritual begins:

Putting some Bailey’s in my tea, I sit with my family,

and fold the laundry.

Like all rituals, it is an offering.

Through my presence, as I perform

this simple, and familiar task,

I’m conveying a Message

I so desperately need to hear myself:

I’m alright.

We all are.

We’ll get through this Together.

Lucy schemes with Ethel, as Ricky overhears.

We’ve seen this one many times before, of course,

but tonight, we laugh a bit harder than usual,

and sit a little closer.

As I look into the eyes and smiles of my family,

Time stands still.

I’m blanketed in the Love, and the Joy of this moment:

Between Laughs, between Loves,

between Time.

Each night, as I leave my children,

as they sleeping,

bitter air invigorates my lungs.

I breathe it in deeply, and evenly,

now ready for the hours that lie ahead.

The stars have multiplied,

and the Moon, not willing to show herself at all,

has set in the West.


About the Author

Kristen Gunning

I love writing, as it offers me a way to learn more about myself, and the human experience. Although my experiences are personal, the themes, and emotions I write about are universal. Writing also allows me to creatively express my most challenging emotions, and in doing so, honors them. I live in RI with my husband, Jonathan, and two children, Eli, and Ruby.

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April 2016 – SUPPORT
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