The Empty Room…



Most of my life has been spent in a room…
always looking out…wistfully…
as the rest of the world passed me by…
Watching the seasons change and the only thing
that grew was the children and the other people I nurtured…

I sat staring out…
on my lunch break from an office…
and the same from my kitchen window as I did dishes…
while everyone else played…
longing to be included…

I never even knew what kind of music I liked…
I listened for so long to what everyone shared with me…
I think I like everything now…

I never knew what I liked to eat…
or what it would be like to sleep au naturale…
without a baby running down the hall screaming from a nightmare
in the middle of the night
and jumping under the covers with me…

I had to always be in my gown ready for the house to burn down…
or stop a burglar with a baseball bat…
scare off the boogie man…
I don’t think I slept a whole night…
since I went out on my own just a baby myself…

I was Mommy/Daddy
rushing to the hospital…
if a fever couldn’t be gotten down
with medicine or a bath…
struggling to provide
and take care of hearth and home…

Its such a luxery to stretch out now
just feel the sheets on my skin
to be so free…
but was it worth the wait?
Daydreaming all those years about all the things…
I heard others did and longing to do them too…

I miss those beautiful moments when the babies were little
and I’d wake up to a bed full of arms and legs
that had joined me in the night…
chubby toes and fingers in my face…
elbows poked in my side..

Adorable smiles and sweet kisses…
Good morning!  Love you!
Will you make booberry pamcates?
Can you brush my hair?
Draw me a picture!

I miss huge innocent blue and green and chocolate colored eyes..
tickles and giggles in the dark…
and telling them magical stories…
that filled their faces with wonder…
each of them so precious…
soulful…but only one of them mine to keep forever…

I was thinking when I saw this picture of this window…
how often I have been the silent observer…
watching  the rest of the world live…
longing  for the day when I have my dreams…

I glorified that day…
As I grew from a young girl into a mature woman…
I had to wait so many years…
for no one to need me anymore…

Believing I’d still have babies around my knees…
but only when I chose…
to enjoy…
not to work day and night and never rest…

I’d dreamed I would  meet my soulmate…
when I could be free…
and I did…
I thought we’d live happily ever after…
sharing our dreams..
we didn’t…

It was just a beautiful dream
like all the other dreams I’ve longed for…
foolish me…

I’m free now…
year after year…
and still looking out this window…
from inside…

I still look out from work…
wherever that might be…
and while I’m doing dishes…
the seasons come and go…
only now they are silent…

No one cares if I’m in the bath too long anymore…
or comes running down the hall and jumps in my arms
needing my love and protection…

I wonder if they all still feel safe in my arms…
when I hug them…
do they ever miss me?

Sometimes its like I died
and no one noticed…
Did I ever live?
Was that all there was to it?
to work so hard for that conclusion?

Then what?
Nothing else seems to matter…

I was still a baby myself…
when I started raising other peoples children…
and still a baby as I raised my own…
I still felt young when they all left
at different times…

But suddenly I am old…
When did that happen?
I never even noticed…
till I had time for myself…

My happy and sad…
war…
inside…
all the time…

I look out my window and the world still passes me by…
until someone needs something…
and then all is still again…
I’m in waiting…
always…

Its still dark in this room…
in the shadows where the sun never quite reaches…
no matter how wide I open the windows…

The years of smiles and music…
a  million memories
are locked in my soul…
bursting forth at the oddest moments
making me laugh…
or cry
in the darkness…

I wonder how many others have looked out that same window
and felt this way…
wondered what they were missing…
Longed for something that was only a fantasy…

What I’m missing was here all along..
it grew up with me
and left without me…
I don’t know how to fill that void…

Its not whats out there…
its what remains in here that has any real meaning…
In this empty room…

  Copyright © 1992 by Darlene Purcell  All rights reserved.

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3 comments on “The Empty Room…

  1. I read your bio and you sound so much like me and my mother…we share life in a rural area of Oklahoma, surrounded by the beauty of nature and the hardships of living far from the city. We seem to be a dumping ground for people to bring their ill, pregnant or unwanted pets. They have love, warmth, comfort and we share everything we have to see that they are never thrown away again…Congratulations on your published book of poems. Would love to read them when they are on the market in November. You sound like an interesting, deep person, I will be reading your blogs from now on… 🙂

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