Is This What You Expected?



Is This What You Expected?


 So, they grew up

Yes, we see them on Instagram now and then

Tagged in photos

Somewhere smiling

Far away

Fully-fledged from the nest

The house — a museum of memories —

I am now the curator of thingamajigs

For the visitors.


So, they grew up

Yes, they text

Words signaling they are alive —

Like boats in dense fog, blasting horns in the dark

Far away from

The house... still standing in the pine grove

The house... that weathered many storms

The house...waiting for the front door to open

Trying not to cry.


So, they grew up

Yes, they left behind

knick-knacks, diaries and awards

Cluttering the hushed house

Far away

They make reservations for a visit

A weekend!

They come, open the door...

Work remotely.


So, they grew up

Yes, they say they like living out there

Away from the small town where it’s so quiet

You hear robins singing and crows fighting

Far away

From a patch of land

Where you plant perennials;

Hoping they come back next year.

Is this what you expected?



Karen Tichnor


Karen Tichnor writes poems and short stories. A former public-school teacher, she is an avid reader, curious beachcomber, and grateful grandmother. She lives in a small town outside Boston, Massachusetts with her husband of 40 years. This is her first published poem.

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