The Quiet House


And so the house is quiet…

Just as the summer heat breaks

and the September sun softens,

entering the garden with an autumnal chill,

our home assumes an eerie stillness.


The car door, the back door and bedroom door

slam no more from returning kids from school.

There is no more pitter patter of bare feet on our floors

or questions about dinner, homework or staying up late.


Quiet the house is…

As if the soul has gone out of it.

While that September gust picks up,

blowing dried leaves onto the kitchen floor,

the house creaks and seems to momentarily move its weary bones.

Although all it does is sit and sigh

in solemn anticipation of the noise and chatter

of candlelit holiday dinners and future family reunions.


In this quiet house,

that was equally reticent when we moved in to dispel the silence

with screaming, playing, running, laughing and crying toddlers,

I sit at the empty kitchen table

wondering why I should even bother, cooking dinner.


So quiet the house is that I’m offended…

Sweet house, why should we be defined by the lives of our children

once they vacate this place and take their dreams with them?


What about our dreams, our time together

Our shared regeneration?

What about filling up this place with laughter, joy and company?

The house is no longer quiet– it doesn’t sigh but whispers:

There is still time…


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One Response to The Quiet House

  1. wimwp says:

    In 1999 we started to take care of our first born grand child in our house followed in 2001 with his brother and two years later the baby girl. Picking them up early, oma leaving at 6 in the morning and when they started to go to kindergarten and elementary school, taking them and picking them up.
    In the evening they were bathed and ready to be picked up.
    When the youngest was in elementary school, our son surprised us that they were moving out of state since the children were now old enough and didn’t need special care from grand parents.

    We were baffled and thought it was a cruel joke but it wasn’t. We cried. The kids cried. They said it was NOT their choice. We felt that they were kidnapped from us. It took more than a year, even longer to accept this. Luckily, soon other grand children arrived and the youngest is now six, almost seven and although they don’t move away, we see gradually that they soon are not going to need us, but they are still close by and college is far away for the younger ones.

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