Steve Meador is the author of Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree, a poetry book that was an entrant for a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. He is widely published in online and print journals. He has been a real estate broker since the early 1980s and currently lives and practices in the Tampa, FL, area.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

And, so, with our youngest now delivered to a dorm room, this house is quiet, but not the quiet we have known for thirty years. There will be no quiet interrupted by crying, no one coming in, at this late hour, to say goodnight. No one to say goodnight to, in return. It is a different kind of quiet, one without expectation of motion or sound or voice. A quiet without knowing for certain that all you have lived for is safe and watched over, from a few rooms away. It is now the quiet of parents resting and rusting together in a growing field of fallow. After a while, it will be the quiet of a deeper sleep, because there will be no coughs or cries or small voices that require light sleep. It will be a quiet that is broken by only two voices which, as the last words of the day, say, "Goodnight. Love you."

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