Third

[The Secret Powers of Middle Children]

Then he was born [as a third
of four] – as a desultory error
& consigned to a middle part

of passed-downs [& omitted
unless he called out] – a son –
reminded of his not-planned-

ness among his brothers – As
an undesired outsider his art
[of slipping away & avoiding –

by shy games] furnished him
with a subtle advantage over
loud siblings – A walk-on role

without a credit [except for a
time of others’ blunders – too
easy for ‘em – he’d be set up]

& three are left [this fact puts
him more central than before
& so quickly dismissed by all]