In Between

 

 

 

 

 

I am a newborn babe
The world is fresh and terrifying
“Incubator” and “Crib” are not words I care for
Put me against your breasts
Skin to skin
Heart to heart
All I want is one thing familiar
and it’s not in a box
It’s in your arms
For the love of God
do not put me in a box

I am a young child
The world is wide and
I could explore anything
Discover everything
But there is a desk in a box
Monday through Friday according to the bell
Hands in lap
Don’t talk to your neighbor
Now line up
Inside this box next to boxes in a box
The world is not in there
It’s outside between the trees and under the birds
For the love of God
Do not put me in a box

I am fifteen now
The world is confusing and
Appalling and a whole lot of fun
All at once
All the adults tell me who I am
Who I should be
Who I will be
But I’ll tell you who I am
It is not in your boxes
I am a creative, I am free, I am a force to be reckoned with
For the love of God
Do not put me in a box

I am what they call a young adult
I have a taste for the world
I’m worried I fit into the boxes you tell me are mine
The American Dream box
The young lovers (who end up divorced) box
The take-maternity-leave-and-doesn’t-
come-back box
The quiet wife in the back of church box
I’m still the wild little girl my mother raised, right?
Maybe?For the love of God
Please don’t put me in a box

I have reached middle age
The world is done telling me who to be
I know who I am now
I’ve had time to watch myself become that woman
I tell my students
To think outside the box
I tell my children
They don’t need to fit in the box
I tell my delivery man
Thank you for the box
Because that’s what boxes are for
For the love of God
Don’t put me in a box

I am an old lady
The world keeps going on and on
Here soon, very soon or too soon, I won’t be
The first of us came from the world
From dirt and soil
My ancestors came from the world
From Poland and Russia and Ethiopia too
My parents came from the world
From the mountains and abounding forests
They have all returned to it
Do not make me a coffin
Burn me like I’ve had an inner fire all my life
And throw me into the wind
To return to the world
To give back all I’ve taken
For the love of God
Do not put me in a box 

I am on the other side
The world is far away
Even if it was my job to tell you what it’s like here
I don’t think I could
But I can tell you
What God is like
God is like a sunrise over Madagascar and Alaska at the same time
God is like the pangolin finding a burrow for the night
Or the bee pollinating a new field
God is like the love inside of you
Or the love between your family
Or the love connecting you to the world and all the life in it
Oh I’ve still not gotten it right
You see,
For the love of God
Cannot be put in a box


Abigail Lopez is a book worm, nerd, writer, artist, sister, and follower of the Way. She lives in Charlotte, NC, and likes to spend her free time vintage dancing and discussing theology with anyone and everyone who will!
Website: abigailinbetween.wordpress.com

4 Comments

  1. Abigail

    I’m honored to be a part of A Family Story! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Jason Clark

      It’s such a fun story! Love this work, and excited about your writing!

      Reply
  2. Delsie

    Abigail, that is beautiful and insightful beyond your years. I know your mom and dad are so proud. Keep it up, kiddo!! Hope to see you again soon…just hope not under the same circumstances!!

    Reply
  3. Angela Cooper

    We are so proud Abigail.
    Love Aunt Angela and Uncle Craig.

    Reply

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