A Goodbye

A Goodbye 

Squeezed behind the wheel
of his well-used compact
he backed out of the drive
of the only home
he'd ever known,
using side mirrors
because his belongings
piled in the backseat  
blocked the view.

As he put the car in drive
to pull away, he waved
to his newly-widowed mother
as she stood on the front step
with tears held back, hand waving,
mouth smiling against its will.

And off he drove 
to his first job,
and back she turned
to pat the dog's head
and begin her own adventure—
living alone for the first time
in her life.

by Lori Lipsky

To Honor the Widow

In Honor of the Widow Seated Alone at the Restaurant 
On her Birthday by Lori Lipsky

Their son found a wife
Began married life
His career took him far away

Their next flew west
He deemed it the best
For him and his family

Their girl met a man
Transferred to Japan
Pursued him across the sea

Their youngest moved north
He was the fourth
Some grand opportunity

Mom and Dad and no other
Though they loved one another,
Their children had all moved away.

Grandbabies were born
It caused them to mourn
They couldn’t afford to visit

Good intentions, well meant,
Photos were sent,
But then Dad grew ill and died

Now mom lives alone
Connects on the phone
Her children are spread worldwide

Her birthday was hard,
One kid sent a card
One called and wished her well

No cake, no caring
Her ache unsparing,
Her kids all live far away.


The first five stanzas were submitted to and published by Pegasus Review in April 2011 under a different title.

I have plans to eat out with my husband for my birthday today. We’ll be talking about our girls, I’m sure. Our youngest moved out of the house on Thursday to attend college a few states away in Missouri. Our oldest moves to Georgia in a couple of weeks. The empty nest days begin…

Is there a widow in your life? Do you know when her birthday is?