Familiar tones to this worn Momma’s ear,
As car keys snatched, I’ll sigh and then I’ll wait.
Is worry on the roads a gender fear?
Alas, some parent habits don’t abate.
Regressive attitudes and acts appear,
When college students find themselves back home.
Those dirty socks and dishes – must they steer
Their way from boys’ rooms and then wildly roam?
I set my mood and mode to “calm” – then breathe;
Much kinder in this season than to seethe.
Pictures must be taken (I insist).
My Boys-to-Men will roll their eyes and squirm.
Cards I have, but photos on the list?
Too late in time, my Prodigals return.
We’ll snap the pictures quickly all the same;
To measure how they’ve grown and changed is sweet.
The images I have, but albums came –
And empty – went with years that seem too fleet.
And gifts upon my mind! As yet unbought!
Why is it I have offered this no thought?
And stalwart, I confess I will be brave;
My M. O. once was shopping – now complete,
Instead I torture Shakespeare in his grave,
With (badly, madly) sonnetizing beat.
One son would like a sweater, so he says,
The other? I’ve no clue. He’d choose “surprise.”
May I wrap them up a little Pez?
Wind up gizmos? Dress shirts? Stripey ties?
My boys, no longer kids, will have changed taste;
I’d better conjure something here – post haste!
Are college throngs perhaps your way en route?
Mine still have projects, finals, then to fly.
Their beds I have, fresh sheets have not, oh zut –
“So much to clean! So much to do!” I cry.
I cannot hide nor turn back tides of time,
And parenthood, its own bewildering art.
I can take refuge in ungodly rhyme,
Then welcome boys with open arms and heart.
The Empty Nest is hard at first and then
I thrill to have them home, my sons, Good Men.