There are many different forms of artwork that brings people comfort. While some enjoy painting or music, many enjoy poetry instead. Michelle Baranowski is one of those people who find comfort through writing poetry. Poetry is yet another way for people to vent out their frustrations and let the world know how they really feel in a creative way. It is a way to express the pain and sorrow that one is feeling and give people the chance to read and relate to it in a completely personal way. In her poem “The Middle Place”, she explains what it is like to be stuck in between utter happiness and devastating sorrow.
While other kids were saying they wanted to be an astronaut or a princess, Michelle always wanted to be a mom. She could have never guessed at that age that she would not be able to accomplish her lifelong dream of conceiving a child. As she grew up, her childhood innocence was shattered and she realized that it was never going to be as easy as she thought it would be.
When Michelle was a young adult she came out as a lesbian so she knew that there was going to be a less “organic” way for her to conceive. She just knew she was going to have to go about becoming a mother in a different way. Still, she believed that it would happen and couldn’t foresee the struggles that she was going to face in the future to accomplish her lifelong dream.
She is now 30 years old and, after years of trying, she has still not had the ability to get pregnant. It has been a long journey of pain and sorrow, as well as constantly getting her hopes up only to have them smashed by each negative result. She feels as if she is just coexisting in the middle place between pure joy and devastating pain, which is something that many people dealing with infertility can relate too. She decided to share her poem with others so that they can catch a glimpse of what she is feeling as she continues on this journey to having a child.
You can listen to Michelle read her poem, or read it yourself, below.
The Middle Place
by Michelle Baranowski
I often talk about the middle place.
The waiting space.
It’s where I find myself most.
Weighted down by time, suffocated by hope.
Not moving forward, not falling behind.
Just walking in circles.
Convincing others “I’m fine”
Incarcerated by a love that burns through the skin and seeps out through weepy eyes.
Anchored by a financial hole I’ve fed, pleading the promised success isn’t a lie.
Like trying to fly a kite, teeming with bricks.
Like a bird, dreaming to fly, with it’s beautiful wings clipped.
Like trying to breathe underwater.
Only to learn you’ll survive.
drowning on the inside, yet seemingly alive.
When the house seems too big
but the accounts are too small
when we learn about families growing
with an anxious, happy call.
Like a bullet to the chest, but with my smile on tight.
My soul defeats and decides whether to fight or to flight.
Sometimes I can get out “I’m so happy for you”
And other times, a nod and a smile is all I am able to do.
The weight of sadness and worry follow me all of the time.
Fretting over savings accounts, credit cards and counting each dime.
Not knowing if our efforts will take flight or be in vain.
Its enough to make even the soundest person insane.
I wish that I was brave.
I wish it was easy to decide
Weather to move on from all of this
Pushing lifelong dreams aside.
I wish I knew for certain that one day I would hold in you in my arms and not just my heart.
It would make the fight all worth it.
Knowing we would never be apart.
So the middle place is where we continue to be.
Waiting, and saving in painful hope.
Waiting for you to set us free.