In Between

to this day, I describe
some buildings as looking
like a dentist’s office

Office of Orrin L. Soper, DDS – circa 1954-1980

1953.
Dr. Soper
was building an office,
raising a young family,
the new house
just a bit northward
on Clio Road
at the corner of Coldwater

intersection of infamy

1953
Clio
Coldwater
Google it.

the house, built in 1950,
the office, finished in 1954.

the tornado
In Between.

my mother was seven

my memories
of this place
begin
twenty years later.

I was five

a different
In Between

350 feet
In Between
the house and the office.

5434 to 5406
Clio Road.

“G-5434”
that’s how they did it
back then.
G – for Genesee, I think,
but I don’t know.
things change.

just a minute’s walk,
less than a tenth of a mile
of busy highway
on the north side
of Flint, Michigan

forget the busy road.
– off-limits –
as it should have been
for a five-year-old

but
not everything was
off limits

there was
a pathway
through the woods

the space
In Between

a portal
a passage
from little boy
to little man

grandma’s house
smelled of yeast and perfume
I was underfoot

grandpa’s office
smelled of adulthood
in a weird, specific way

acrylic
novocaine
antiseptic
tooth dust

at that end of the path
I was the main attraction.

Lucille fawned over me
not like grandma’s fawning
I enjoyed it

being noticed
is appealing enough
to brave most pathways

In Between

far more than 350 feet.
miles and miles.
epic journey,
vision quest,
through forest primeval

at times, thrilling
then foreboding,
even fearsome.
but the good kind,
when you know the destination
is worth the trip

That path was special
magical
bidirectional

when I was done
being “at work”
I could always return
through the woods
to yeast and perfume
to being underfoot
to being a child

a lot of paths
don’t work that way

Once you leave
In Between
from “was” to “is”
only memory
can really take you back.

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