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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Empty Nester/Retirement (from work) (09/10/09)

TITLE: Our Empty Nest
By Mary Alice Bowles


Our Empty Nest

Our house is never happier
than when children adorn her floor
A smile spreads across her face
From rafters, ceiling, wall to door

She sings of Sunday afternoons
when the soft ball got stuck
Along the lining of the roof
in a thing called a gutter
One of the sisters or maybe the brother
had to climb a ladder
Looking for that ball
It was a serious matter

The spring grass grows and shouts and sings
With the pitter-patter of little bare feet
The purple cones bow and dance up and down the path
The little purple violets jump up and down with glee
All the children’s laughter, they have to hear and see

When summer is done and fall surrounds
all the house and grounds,
Those little ghost and goblins listen for the hidden sounds
The sounds that only a house like this
can produce with pedigree style
If you want to hear a ghostly sound
Close your eyes, be really quiet and concentrate a little while

The snow flies and heaven lies just beyond the gates
Where sled rides wait and snowmen rush to try on winter skates
All those little shoe prints in the new fallen snow
Makes mommies heart go tick toc tick as down the hills we go

All the springs, summers, winters and falls
of life, love and living
All five of them raised up here in this little house
She knows each one of their names
and loves them all the same
She watched each one of them grow up
Into young men and women, wonderful in every way

Then came these awful days when she looked around
All of them were gone and she was left all alone
The tear drops fell in buckets
They covered all the land
The man and woman
dug a hole out behind the house
They gathered all the tear drops in a special place
just directly behind the barn and beyond
Now all the little woodland creatures
drink water from Tear Drop Pond

Junior, Vickie, Kathy, Tammie and Chastity,
She watched them all grow up
She gave to them all the love she could
Just like a good house should

Patiently, she waited, watching Ma plant flowers
and Pa shoot pictures with a Cannon
The sadness on her pretty face showed up in all the Shadows
Then one day the phone rang and joy filled her rafters
She heard the conversation
One of her children is having a baby

The rooms swayed with laughter, the floors bounced with joy
The staircase creaked, the doors flew open
The windows slid up and down
The ground shook and trembled
As the house went round and round

Ma and Pa just held hands and waited for the sigh
They knew sooner or later, she would settle on down
They knew her like a book,
They had owned the house for thirty nine years
They knew every corner and every nook

Now it won’t be long till Christmas 2009
The little house is all aglow
Happiness has taken over
Because she knows
all those 14 grandchildren are coming
When those children walk through that door
She will put on a great big show

Ma and Pa are ready for lots of noise and fun
The house just waits and watches for Santa on the roof
She’ll open her chimney wide and let old Santa take a slide
For many many years she has been his special guide

©by Our House 2009

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This article has been read 547 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 09/20/09
I could picture these lines, "The sounds that only a house like this
can produce with pedigree..." :) I lived in a house like that once. :) You've got me in the mood for celebrating Christmas with family. Congrats on 14 grandchildren!
c clemons09/22/09
I think this would have worked better as a "telling" rather than in prose. But that's just one opinion.
Lisa Johnson09/23/09
I like the personification of the house as the MC... no telling the stories there would be if the walls could talk.
Beth LaBuff 09/25/09
Thank you for your note... (I tried to send you an email.. it wouldn't go through)..
Lisa Johnson09/25/09
Thank you for your kind words for my entry, "Finding Grace."