First, it was the eldest at the age of 22
then the second one at 20
then the third one at her 18th birthday
saying, “Ma and Pa, it’s time to go”.
It is journeying to the pinnacle of
dreams, a taste of freedom
like the birds reaching up the sky.
It is silent and lonely
without my three girls
They have moved out with a smile
and their rooms are left bereft
saved of the few boxes
that they may pick up once in a while-
boxes of their childhood and memories.
This vacuum of my girls’ absence
will ever dwell because their presence
has graced this home and this garden.
But they cannot stay here forever
they have their own life now to try
which I might as well bless each day.
I have been used to cooking
for 6 or more with their friends
around this old table of two decades
Now the table is silent too
bereft of laughter and seeming debates
My girls have moved out.
I must therefore accept
Children are never ours to keep
But priceless jewels to be released.
Elizabeth Padillo Olesen, Denmark