Empty Nesting My Ass

After the children went to college and kept going

we became empty nesters, a term I dislike and a

ridiculous way to speak of oneself when the nest

is anything but empty. It’s full of the chaff they

winnowed when they packed what they needed

for the school years and the after that years.

 

There are beds we thought they’d want but don’t,

shoes hardly worn in every size and color, boy, girl,

formal, sport, tap, cleat, high and low heeled, leather

and canvas veiled with dust beneath racks of suits,

shirts, dresses and sweaters that slide to the edge of

hangers like snake skin draped on a rock.

 

There are reliquaries of baby teeth, and first shoes,

tiny forks and tiny spoons, thread-bare blankets that

they shucked and outgrew, games missing pieces, dolls

missing clothes, a billion bits of Legos and the huddle

of basketballs slowly growing cracked and flat.  These

are the things that remain when fledglings have flown.

 

I built this nest like the other birds, lashing twig to twig

with spider web and lining the core with down and

leaves, but the sweat of my hands, the milk of my breast

and the underpinning of prayer were my invention, and

I bound the form with lengths of my hair, dark at the

center and white toward the rim.

 

This nest is hardly empty, holding much of them still,

but even more it holds the all of us, the we that we made

and the us that we were when we fluffed and feathered

a tender fortress made to cup them as they hatched,

a sanctuary built for us, to secure the first thing we birthed:

our love.

©Dana Hughes 9.22.16

One thought on “Empty Nesting My Ass

  1. I cried. Best, best….

    On Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 6:00 PM, Furthermore… wrote:

    > dlshughes posted: “After the children went to college and kept going we > became empty nesters, a term I dislike and a ridiculous way to speak of > oneself when the nest is anything but empty. It’s full of the chaff they > winnowed when they packed what they needed for the s” >

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s