Posted in Essay, Jamie Dedes, memoir, Poems/Poetry


seagull-and-chicksThis is why you were born, to pass me by,
DNA of our ancestors, it’s your turn to fly,
to be the center, the triumph, the culmination.

Though not quite zero at bone and marrow, you ~
are a merry new story, adhering to Conrad’s dictum,
with shocks and surprises in every line and chapter.

Your book, your life, your metaphor, wearing truth
as your dermis, seeking tears, not blood, and
like all good art you changed me for the better,

having read you, I’ll never be the same. So time,
My Heart, time now to fly, to leave this nest,
the generations on which you stand, this is why
you were born, now it’s your turn to fly …

Note: Conrad’s dictum is that the writer’s first responsibility is to help the reader see.

The great American novelist and educator, Toni Morrison, once wrote that it is the job of parents to provide their children both safe harbor and wings. This poem was written some time ago to convince myself, not my son. He did what son’s naturally do.

Time has seen our roles reverse in some ways. My son has the most generous heart and has had my back for thirteen years, ushering me to my pulmonologist/critical care specialist and through sundry procedures and surgeries (always my advocate), moving me to new digs each time I have to downsize, taking me home with him when I couldn’t be left alone, keeping me in computers and tech toys. Yet, our children are our children. As Naomi said yesterday in Part I, “. . .  long after they’ve gone gray, long after they are elderly orphans…they will still be our babies. “

From my vantage point as my mother’s daughter and my son’s mother, I’ve learned that making family is just another kind of love story, one in which love is not circumscribed. As we pass this love along to succeeding generations, it grows in depth and breadth. We are better people for it and the whole world becomes a better place. In the end, even mom’s are given wings and the nest in never truly empty when love remains to fill in the spaces.

– Jamie Dedes

© 2013, poem, essay, and photos below, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved
Photo credit ~ Seagull and Chicks by George Hodan, Public Domain; portait and family photos below are under copyright as well. Please be respectful.

Photo on 2012-09-19 at 19.54MomJAMIE DEDES is a poet and the founder of Into the Bardo. She is a former freelance feature writer and columnist whose topic specialties were employment, vocational training, and business. She finds the blessing of medical retirement to be opportunity to play: to indulge in writing poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction.

Jamie’s primary playground is The Poet by Day, the journey in poem (formerly Musing by Moonlight) where at any time you can read five of her most recent poems along with a growing collection of Sunday posts on poetry, poets, and writers.  She finds inspiration everywhere and in everyone. Her work is informed by the values of the multicultural/multiracial environment and classical Eastern and Roman Christianity in which she was raised as well as by a more recent introduction to Buddhism. Jamie has an abiding faith in the value of a life of the mind and spirit to heal and in the inestimable value of art and music, poetry and writing as spiritual practice.


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

6 thoughts on “EMPTY NEST PART II: Given Wings

  1. Dear Jamie,
    I can hardly see to type through my tears. Your poem was beautiful, and so is your story. This post is one that I will save to read again and again. Bless your son, and bless you too.


  2. Dear Jamie: This speaks to me on so many levels—mostly to my heart!. I just completed a week-long journey with my eldest son Greg, (just turned 50) and one of grandsons, driving down the Highway 1 –Pacific Coast Highway — then to Yosemite. It was an “epic” three generation “trip” that ended Sunday on Father’s day. It will take me many days–well, really months — to integrate and digest the special learnings and gifts of this trip. Your poem captures some of the deepest teachings/learnings of this trip. Thank you!


  3. This comes in the midst of a great debate (with my partner, Steve) about making a life that is not simply petty and comfortable, leaving base camp to climb a mountain of challenge…and who says there isn’t a mountain of challenge right there at base camp? As a “nester” with 4 grown children, I spent many energetic years on that challenge, and found it neither petty nor particularly comfortable. With a college degree in hand, I defended my choice to stay at home for 12 years. I grow weary of trying to justify my work, even now.


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