Empty Nest by Olivia Byard


. . . . . . . .

Empty Nest

You’re ready by eleven
and behind your light eyes,
whips crack and wagons turn.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .I drive you
to the bus, my hobo soul dreaming
of box cars, the steam’s hiss,
a haunting whistle’s blow –
while your rockets and space-pods
roar their kinship, overhead.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Palo Alto’s
calling, and you’re tuned
to its wavelength –
I grab a ducked forehead
for a last half-missed kiss.

Then my own world judders,
stalls to aching silence–
while brief years to grave-clothes
dizzily unwind.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Until,
I force fingers to the keyboard
and the IPhone pings –
stuck in a traffic jam,
ET’s texted home.

by Olivia Byard, from The Wilding Eye, New and Selected Poems

Editor’s Note: A parent’s understanding for a grown child’s need to leave home is balanced only by her worry. In this poem, two generations of technology serve as allegory for this familiar narrative.

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2 thoughts on “Empty Nest by Olivia Byard

  1. Pingback: From the archives – Empty Nest by Olivia Byard | Autumn Sky Poetry Daily

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