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

TITLE: Mama Gets First Dibs On His Room
By Mariane Holbrook


A new empty nester Iím going to be.
I gladly announce it, ďAt last Iíll be free!Ē
He just turned eighteen, bound for college is he;
We just returned home from a big shopping spree.

Iíll take out his bunk beds Iíve come to despise.
Clean under his bed where he hid stale French fries.
Iíll call in bulldozers to clean out the mess.
Weíll all need some shots to protect us, I guess.

His walls had been painted a hideous black.
His dťcor caused more than one panic attack.
When friends played loud music, too bad to believe,
Policemen were called and they made them all leave.

No more will his laundry be left on the floor;
No pin-up girlsí pictures taped inside his door.
I wonít have to wrestle my son out of bed;
He begged for more sleep and would try to play dead.

His bedroom will make me a fine sewing room.
Iíll repaint his walls and get rid of the gloom.
Or maybe his room could be used for a den
With tv and pool table, used by the men.

I might like to make it a room for my art.
Iíve needed an impetus for a fresh start.
Iíll spread out my canvases and all my paints
And seek inspiration; Iím free from constraints.

I think I deserve it; his room should be mine.
If someone else gets it, then I draw the line.
Iíve scrubbed it and cleaned it and picked up the trash.
His room was so bad Iíd break out in a rash.

The term ďempty nesterĒ means nothing to me.
As free as a bluebird, so happy Iíll be.
I raised him the best that I could, Iíll confess;
I could have tried harder in some ways, I guess.

The big day is here and his luggage is packed.
Weíre saying goodbye, as a matter of fact.
Heíll drive off to college with two other guys,
So why are these tears pouring down from my eyes?

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This article has been read 921 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 09/17/09
You've captured many aspects of the empty-nest and sending a semi-grown child off to college. I smiled at many of your thoughts. I enjoyed her cleaning his room the most. :) I hope she gets the room so she can paint. :)
Pamela Calhoun09/17/09
BRAVO! I loved this, it's my experience exactly!
Charla Diehl 09/18/09
I know this poem hits home with lots of moms out there. I smiled and chuckled my way through this--and loved the last line--tender ending.
Allen Stark09/18/09
This "neatnik" dad can also relate. On the positive side, I'm looking forward to moving upstairs out of my "writing dungeon" when my daughter's room is vacant.
Marylynne Middelkoop09/18/09
Beautiful and very touching. I am at this stage right now, in fact I just finished sweeping my son's room out - scary stuff! Artfully written. I'm a fan!
Catrina Bradley 09/21/09
I know you aren't exaggerating about the bulldozer and the french fries. Been there; done that. ;) The last line wasn't what I expected, and I loved it. Super.
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/22/09
You, my dear friend, have it exactly true here! This shows how life is while revealing your humor and your loving mother's heart. Well done!
Sherrie Coronas09/22/09
Oh my goodness you've nailed it here! I love that every line but the last one describes the trials and tribulations of raising this child -- but then you sum it up in one whopping love note in your final sentence. So revealing of a mother's heart. GREAT job.
Betty Castleberry09/22/09
An awfully lot of mothers can relate to this.

This has it all, including touches of humor. I really loved this. Thumbs up.
Bryan Ridenour09/22/09
I loved the poetry, the story it told, the bulldozer and especially the love of Mom. Well done!
Chely Roach09/22/09
Fantastic poem! You completely nailed the conflicting emotions (with the last line), and I loved the humor throughout. Loved it!
Jan Ackerson 09/23/09
Clever, entertaining...delightful!
Diana Dart 09/23/09
Sweetness! OK, the French fries line made me howl! Never ask my mom about my own stashing of that food as a youngun. LOL! Loved the ending especially, it gave the poem a real personality.
Shilo Goodson09/23/09
Your poem accurately captures the feelings of many parents who are sending their children off to collge. There's excitement, and she does feel a little sad that her son is now going to be gone.
Mona Purvis09/23/09
This is so "the norm". Great entry. When we bought this house near our 3 grandsons, we thought we would have a couple guest bedrooms for them. But, then Bill made one into his art studio and I made the other into my office/library.
The kids do just fine sleeping on an air mattress.
Pamela Kliewer09/23/09
Great entry! If your MC didn't have tears flowing I would wonder what was wrong...
Joy Faire Stewart09/23/09
Enjoyed this lighthearted poem on topic. The Mom's pov was fun!
Deborah Engle 09/24/09
I remember watching my firstborn pulling out of the driveway on his way to a far-away college,taking my heart with him. That last one, though, had to be forced out of the nest. Together, your my thoughts are mirrired here. Congratulations on a job well done.
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/24/09
Congratulations on your well deserved EC placing. Woo Hoo for your talent and double Woo Hoo's for your friendship!
Sheri Gordon09/24/09
Congratulations on your EC. Very well written. I just went through this 4 days ago--and the tears are still there.
Pam Carlson-Hetland09/24/09
Oh, Mariane, you had me grinning from ear to ear with your wonderful poem. Very realistic and humorous. Many congrats on your EC win, my talented friend!
Carol Slider 09/24/09
You captured the conflicting emotions very well here. Congratulations!
Beth LaBuff 09/24/09
Congrats, Mariane for placing with this fun poem! :)