The Empty House (Widower)

You’ve scrubbed the kids’ room
for the last time. Gone for good.
Spic and span. Empty.

It soothes your idea
of yourself. Full of promise.
But they move back in,

the cats too. You sit
alone in the kitchen, twitch
when you hear something.

The radio said
you’d enjoy the empty nest,
but you hate yourself.

Evil is not some-
thing they know here. Be kind when
neighbors come to call.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at and other sites.

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