And Suddenly It Was Quiet

What a holiday visit it was
In COVID’s shadow
When son, grandsons, daughter
Spilled their unmasked energy and laughter
All over our condo. It was so gonzo.

A winter’s night walk
Sprinkled twinkling pied lights
Of neighbors’ Christmas elves
All over our bundled-up selves.

Grubhub Chinese, carryout Korean
And the obligatory leftover pizza
Warmed our palates. Hanging out in PJs,
Settling squabbles of little ones,
A do-not-touch corral around the
Unfinished jigsaw puzzle
That hogged the dining room table for a day—
These still-fresh images swizzle around.

And suddenly it was quiet
After the jackets, boots, masks and goodbye hugs
Were complete,
When the gifting remains, clean laundry, snacks and treasures
Absorbed the available cubic feet
In the minivan. And off they went.

Grandsons’ art taped to wall eyeballs me,
Greasy fingerprints on tabletop touch me,
And silence alone hears my slippered feet
As I tidy around. I ponder the miracle
Of all our negative home tests,
Of all the hilarity during last evening’s games,
Of young voices whispering I love you and
Decibels of he’s being mean to me! and
The greater miracle of family love.

And suddenly it’s quiet, yes,
But the remnants of all that love
Still thunder “Happy New Year.”

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