i am the ordinary
the middle

feeling tenterhooks
in the small of my back

lodge in the place
where love used to roost

arthritis builds its condo spread
on that tract now

a co-habitation --
a formless tendency
toward bilingual fluency.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Posted for Poets United Poetry Pantry


  1. Reflectve words. Thank you for this

  2. I tell myself that I get better....but some days are challenging :)

  3. Very wise. Middle age is a union of dissimilar states of being – often awkward: and yet, closer to “real” than many aspects of youth.

  4. This is an excellent poem.

    This is my favorite part:
    "feeling tenterhooks
    in the small of my back"

    I appreciate the deeper layers and tucked-away secrets.

  5. How I resonate with that arthritis condo.......and limited energy for the sturm and drang of wild emotions of younger years. Loved this!

  6. The tenter hooks in the back felt like fingers down a chalkboard..and yet it settles and becomes part of us - hopefully not so painful that it defines all of us.. Middle age is strange can we ever know it's the middle.. You have captured the aching felling of age like bones in an X-ray

  7. What an interesting and apt description of middle age. Profound in its approach really. This resonates. Smile.

  8. The pain that come with age... either from exhaustion or from others yes I have started to feel it too...

  9. It's brilliant about pain: 'lodge in the place
    where love used to roost' ~ just painful reminder, feel it again, and pain will dissipate... ~ send you peaceful vibes, Audrey.

  10. How we learn to live with pain, to speak each other's language, so that we come to depend on it and it on us -- a wonderfully profound work.

  11. Jeesh. In the middle, sure nuff.

  12. middle age is full of crises & arthritis is One of them...sigh ...


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