I recall the voices of summer afternoons,
my home filled with the opening of doors,
Laughing, joking, loud TV shows.
I would smile through the exhaustion
and empty refrigerator, as I told a friend
that fifteen kids had touched my heart,
left their mark, become a part of my day.
They often called me “mom”, even if I wasn’t,
Told me their secrets, whispered their fears.
Those days filled me with a sense of being needed,
appreciated, I was honored , I was loved.
Somewhere inside me, I was invigorated.
The tiredness, replaced by a special joy,
a completion of my need to be needed.
Now, the years have aged me, time has passed,
children grown, still the memories remain.
I hear my last teen walk in, laughing with a friend,
The refrigerator opens, the door closes.
“Hey, mom!” say two voices, as I fight a sweet tear.
“Wanna watch TV with us?” You bet I do.