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Challenge: Life Changes

Mama Bird's Last Leaves the Nest

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You spend all those years of truncated nights, runny noses, and trips to the E.R. in hopes someday they'll manage on their own. But when that day comes, it hurts. I wrote this the week my youngest moved to an apartment of his own.

I enter his room as I always have.

He takes up so much more space

under the old quilt.

After he puts his glowing laptop on the floor,

I place my hand on his forehead, asking:

Shall we pray?

I feel his body stiffen just a bit,

bristling under the pressure to be young again.

We alternate the phrases:

May the Spirit bless and keep you.

May the Spirit's face light up as you come near.

May the Spirit hear you when you cry.

And heal anything that's hurting in your life.

I realize then this may be our last reciting,

and that it's time for him to move on,

and out of the room with the lacrosse wallpaper.


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