What to do with an empty nest?
Fill it with shopping or trips to the library?
Pile it with tasty dishes from new recipe books?
Toss in hours of pouring over old photo albums?
Clean it and scrub it?
Rearrange and refurbish?
Blast music so loud that I can’t stand to go in it?
Does one keep the nest empty?
Guard it from intrusion?
Make it a shrine or a refuge from loneliness?
Or turn away and never look into it?
The days are dwindling when my nest is intact.
Nighttime is impatient with her dark embrace.
Anxiety’s cold hands grabs at my ankles.
Doubt teases my mind and fills with fear.
And I wonder and worry:
Did I teach her what she needs to be independent?
Does she know who she is and where she came from?
Did I nurture her self confidence?
Did I tell her often enough how wonderful she is?
Does she know she’s loved unconditionally?
Does she know her true worth?
Can she stand tall and strong and make her voice heard?
Are her wings strong and sturdy?
Her sense of direction keen?
Is she ready for flight and adventure and independence?
Whatever I did or didn’t do, I know in my gut,
In my heart,
In my mind
…my bird is ready to take
9 years ago