Sunday, June 12, 2011

Empty Nest--A Poem


Written on my son’s nineteenth birthday

My son is raised now. It’s just me and the cat.

I’m supposed to miss him. We’ll see about that.

There are those moments of looking back

When the current silence seems to lack

An energy, perhaps a soul

That ought to go inside this hole.

But then I remember—teens don’t talk

To their parents, that is. They turn and walk

And grunt or groan or loudly sigh

To every question, statement or reply.

So, off I went, in my nest on wheels,

To be free for a while, to see how that feels.

And it feels pretty good most of the time.

I’m finding my own space, rhythm and rhyme.

I call him every week just to check

If he needs anything, but what the heck?

Even if he did, what could I do?

I did it all when he was new.

And now he’s grown and needs his space

To make decisions, to fall on his face,

To soar, to climb, to make his way

And I have so little left to say.

Now it’s time to be my own mother

To give to myself, not to another,

The time, the space, the healing calm,

The gift of quiet. I need that balm!

So I travel, I walk, I read, I sit.

I do some artwork, but I won’t knit

Or rock or go to the senior center.

That’s a phase I’m not ready to enter.

Our longer life spans don’t come at the end.

They come in the middle, when we can tend

To all those things we didn’t get to do

When we wanted to, back in ’72.

So Stop the War! Save the Earth!

I won’t give up just because I gave birth.

It’s time for me and folks of my kind

To gather together and speak our mind.

I may be older, but I’m not so far gone

That I can’t experience another dawn

Of awakening, energy, power and peace.

I’ve got the time now to work without cease

For all that I wanted back before

That marriage and the child I bore.

I homeschooled him for many years.

I bandaged his boo-boos, calmed his fears.

Now it’s myself that I homeschool.

I’ve dipped myself in a deepening pool

Of knowledge, wisdom, love and light.

It’s my time now! It’s my right!

So, yes, I admit, I miss my child,

But he’s not gone. It’s me that’s gone wild.

And when I’m gone for good, I hope he’ll say,

“That Mom of mine—she did it her way.”


  1. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Aw. Very nice. I should call Phil ...


  3. Sue I loved the poem, I hope you don't mind, I sent it to my kids and made sure I put who wrote it! That is awesome! Except my youngest is 29 and I am still "breaking away" lol

  4. Cheryl, I don't mind at all. Thanks!

  5. I don't usually finish long poems, but read this one to the end. Really enjoyed it. Thank you!