I sit in the dark with my coffee.
I sit here and wait for the light.
I increasingly need to wake early,
The one need my body can’t fight.
The coffee, forever, is last grounds.
I pile them on yesterday’s heap.
Our compost is black with its dark dust
And yellow, most yellow, my teeth.
I throw one more load in the washer.
I push-button “on” one, in dry.
I stare at the mountain before me:
My laundry, clean up to the sky;
I think that I hear a small whimper.
I rush to the nursery, to check,
To caress that sweet fontanel softness,
That cuddling lump, on my neck;
But the nursery holds nothing, but stillness,
And the bedrooms, this end of the house,
Preserve a most curious childhood,
Museum-like, without a pulse;
And I hear a clock, somewhere, is ticking.
And I cringe, at my wrinkles and flab,
And imagine the sweet sounds of children,
Calling ‘Mom!”, from our sad cul-de-sac.
Copyright 2019 Andrea LeDew
Thank you Liz.
The first and fifth stanzas resonated particularly strongly with me.
Wow – powerful and sad. Whew – and when my younger sister saw a therapist years back – the biggest takeaway for her (that she did not realize) was the emptiness of empty nesting.
And in this piece – well I am glad my experience was not as grim. I heard joy in the empty halls and even with a mix of emotions – it was not ever all sad.
Anyhow – this was masterfully written in your natural style – and favorite line:
“laundry, clean up to the sky”
Your play on words and visuals never leave us high and dry! Ha
Love your comments Prior. Grinning ear to ear. My hope was that the expression empty nest would be understood not only in its popular sense, that of parents whose children have aged out and flown away, but also in the literal sense, that of an emptiness resulting from loss due to death off a child or children, whether by accident, illness or misadventure. I know this time of year can be melancholy for those who have suffered loss. Thanks again for the terrific comment!
My pleasure and glad to connect – and yes – I wondered if there was loss of a baby – but then thought maybe that was this parents favorite stage or something
But as your writing always does – we had options to glean !
And sadly – back in 99 when I had son2- a colleague I worked with had a close friend lose her baby to SIDS and that colleague was so upset she could not stand to be around my baby when we’d come to work —
Felt so bad for the family and for my friend –
That is so sad. We never know the suffering our own happiness can bring to others. Happy New Year!
Yes – it was awkward and I still lightly feel that sting – and recall
Her face at times…
Anyhow – wishing you a wonderful New Year, Andrea