Sunday, 15 March 2015

Parents’ Song

Children leave.
it seems not long ago 
they still ran in by the open door, 
and, united in dispute,
each took their chair around the table.

Children leave,
there was the long ago time,
when troubled hours,
hours of pain and illness,
filled the parents' day and night.
When black marks at school,
fights in the playground,
friends falling in and falling out, 
knees grazed and 
small hearts broken, 
were carried home 
and healed. 

Children leave.
Sons find wives,
daughters take a man.
At times, there is a letter,
a message, short and to the point, arrives.
Busy lives allow for brief visits,
now and then.

Children leave.
Something they always take away with them, 
parents are poorer, children are free,
and step by step
the clock marches
round the empty table.


  1. "the clock marches

    round the empty table."



  2. Hi Friko - with thoughts on this gloomy day ... gloom for some, joy for others ... being mindful in between ... Hilary

  3. Beautiful, true and so sad. We all must go through this, accept it, and realize that raising children is but a small time in our lives. I think we are surprised how fast is passes

  4. Yes, the speed of time is something that can't be taught.

  5. ... many tears of ... children leaving ... one leaves and dies on me, one leaves for "personal" reasons ... ya ... I think I feel like baking buns today ... life goes on, until it's not ... Love, cat.

  6. It seems that time is no longer our friend, just memories survive. Lovely poem.

  7. Powerful, beautiful, sad and true.

  8. I can't sing this song, I'm not a parent.
    But I'm a daughter and must say it is
    all so true.
    Have a wonderful evening

  9. I love the plain-spoken truth of this, even as I wish it were otherwise. The table as the focal point, opening and closing the poem, are particularly poignant--all the more so as a table can have such significance to a family's life together--and apart.

  10. Fine poem.

    ALOHA from Honolulu

  11. Poignant and true. Children leave. And we equip them to do so. We did the same. Tim and I chat occasionally about how the child rearing years were such a small sliver of time.

  12. It is the way of things. I wish all children good leave of their parents, so that they can begin the cycle of life on their own. I saw a wonderful movie today, "The Secret of Roan Inish" about an Irish folk tale that seals could shed their skin and become human. Now that's definitely a different way to leave! :-)

  13. Thanks for the comment on my blog today. It is nice to meet you:)

  14. It sounds like you've been through this situation. Both my kids are more than 1000 km away. I miss them. Your poem reminds me of when they first left.

  15. Friko, as you know I am child, but am not a mother. I would also want you to know that I find this a very fine poem.


  16. Friko, you words broke my heart. Children do leave, and that table seems so empty at times.

  17. Its a feeling I have felt and life changes into some shared sadness.....but imagine the children all grown up and living their lives and being productive in their own lives and contributing to society n such - just like we did - hopefully- if it all went that way. Lovely poem - you write, we feel.

  18. That was a beautifully written post, Friko.

    In the US, children leave and right about the time you have resourced their room, they are back and sometimes not alone.

  19. Empty table, to me, means no more cooking bigger meals--LOL! I filled my table with crafts and art supplies. I fully expected my child to leave the nest and make a good life. I was lucky that he didn't fly very far away and I get to see him and his lovely wife regularly. I'm doubly blessed that I get to see my new grandson regularly, too. I know so many people who live too far away to see their kids and grandkids much or at all. And some live nearby and don't visit, either. I am very grateful. This is such a beautiful, heartfelt poem filled with years of memories, Friko.

  20. A good poem, Friko. And rather chilling, at the very end. But so true.

  21. Table , a place where many share food and ideas is a hub . We all have had our moment as the child and some later as parents and perhaps the grands too. What a lovely poem and how beautifully you create the images of empty places and time rolling on as it must.

  22. I spent the last ten days seeing both of my boys rather frequently. It was delicious! But now that I'm back up north and my older son is out west and younger son back where he's always been, I am missing them terribly. But I know they're both where they need to be and that makes it right. Lovely poem .. it touches my heart.

  23. Yes , I don't think we're ever prepared for it .
    But then I wonder how it must have felt two hundred years ago , when one's child emigrated to Australia or America ... and was never seen again .

  24. I came, I pondered, I forgot to leave a comment. What struck me is the closing of the circle: when the parent comes to the child's table. The fleeing of the children is real enough, natural enough, but when a parent "returns to the table," and the table is that of a son or daughter, the turning of the wheel becomes even more obvious.

    When my mother became my responsibility, and over time became more and more childlike, I sometimes coped by reminding myself, quietly and ONLY to myself, "I'm the adult in this room."

    If we're lucky, one of the things we take away with us when we leave is the memory of being around that table, and a desire to sit around it again.

  25. And round our table are other children with fur and feathers. Nice poem Friko.

  26. This touches me so deeply. I miss our boys -- not that we never see them, but it's different now. Visits are shorter, when they're in town we are part of the list -- this friend of hers, that friend of his, her parents, us... Seldom long enough to be truly satisfying, yet we find we change the expectations and that makes it a little easier. This is tremendously poignant and beautifully stated.

  27. This is wonderful, plain and simple.
    And the end is magic.



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