From the Once Loud House

This is just a little text/poem that can talk to an empty nester or just to anyone moving from one lively way of life to a quieter one.

Once I was loud and rambunctious.

My stairs shook under the stampede of sneakers.

My hardwood floors quivered under the high-heeled prom shoes.

Laughter echoed from my attic turned into a secret club.

The piano danced,

the drums rolled,

the guitar strummed,

the saxophone swung,

and a band was born.

Candles were lit and blown,

Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday to You Dear Child

Happy Birthday to YOU!!!

Wrapping paper crackled and crinkled.

Popcorn puffed up and popped in the microwave.

Bedtime stories, oh please, another one!

Sisterly confidences murmured under the quilts,

broken hearts healed.

Brotherly promises swapped in the attic,

à la vie à la mort.

Nightly tiptoeing to the pantry, munch, munch, munching cookies.

I was the guardian of the sounds of childhood.

Until one day…

One by one the children left for the dreams they had dreamed between my walls.

The band dismantled.

The instruments hibernated.

No more alliances forged in dim walk-in closets.

Unaccustomed to silence the parents fussed and got busy.

Boxes, filled with books and toys, piled in the vacant rooms.

But how do you pack cascading laughter, excited conversations, and hushed secrets?

Do you ever replace the sounds of childhood?

Their disarray was mine.

The quietness of the stairs,

The sad echo of the empty bedrooms,

How can the sound of silence be so loud?

Until one day…

As quiet as snowflakes,

as comforting as a hug,

a conversation never heard before grew within my silent walls.

Hush. Listen.

The hissing of the coffee maker

The crunching of corn flakes,

the popping of the toaster,

the crinkling of the morning paper,

Chopin, the Minute Waltz,

and the unsaid words, too.

I remember of each word and sound uttered within my walls.

What a good life I had!

Don’t you agree?

Whenever absence crushes you down, hush.

Listen to the new sounds

Breaking through the sound of silence.

Don’t they remind you of the time when I was loud and rambunctious?



  1. We’ve been through much of this. It’s beautiful and sad.

  2. Yes, it is. Thank you, Dan.

  3. …and with a little luck we’ll have the ‘loud and rambunctious’ sound of rain next week.

  4. What a beautiful poem and touching thoughts.

  5. Do you think so? It would be wonderful, right? To see the grass green again and the falls to their fullest…

  6. You brought a lump in my throat. Beautifully written.

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