Life Renewed

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23 Years After
Where Did All The Children Go?

Like decades past
I stand again
Leaning on the rail of this old porch
New memories burn
Within my mind
Adding flame to that old torch

Some twenty years ago
I asked myself
Where did all the children go?
As I look around
I tell myself
The answer I finally know

The child I was
Never truly left
At times I hear from him
His laughter still
Echoes in these hills
That little boy now lives within

Sometimes I catch
A hint of those days
But it always leaves too fast
As I hear My Boys
Playing in the woods
Just like an echo from the past

This patch of dirt
On which I live
Though it’s not too much to see
Just old scrub brush
And rolling hills
Still it means the world to me

This is the land
I grew up on
Running in the summer sun
After many years
I returned back here
And a new cycle has begun

I still recall
Two decades past
As I looked around the old place
The silence it
Was deafening
As tears rolled down my face

For I could look around
And see the past
In the remnants that I saw
And I’ll not forget
The sadness found
In the eyes of my Grandpa

As he looked around
One summer day
Thinking that he was alone
And he softly spoke
Unto himself
“This just don’t feel like home”

“Where are the kids
They should be bugging me
‘Bout some “fort” they’ve got to build
As they run across
This old front yard
There should be laughter in these hills”

And Grandma missed
Her “Little Ones”
Who’d now grown and moved away
And though they both
Still loved us so
They also missed their yesterday

A time when kids
Made lots of noise
Came howling through their door
Laughing about something
They had just done
They longed to hear that sound once more

And their eyes did shine
When we’d return
On a visit we’d come home
But all too soon
We would leave again
And they’d be left alone

And Family came
And Family went
In and out of their old home
New grandkids came
Then they’d grow up
And away from here they’d roam

In all the years
That I was gone
When life was not quite right
I still could hear
Wind in these old trees
Calling to me in the night

It gave me comfort
It gave me strength
And helped me to find the way
To get back on
My feet again
And to face another day

So many times
I’d miss this place
As these old hills would call
So after many years
I returned here
And it’s still home after all

Now I look across
The same dirt road
Where once the trees did burn
And I smile inside
When I see the trees
As slowly they’ve returned

My Grandma passed on
Many years ago
My little Boy she never knew
But she got to know
My oldest Son
And no wrong could he ever do

And my Grandpa
He knew them both
Before it came his time go
His Great-Grandsons
Made his eyes light up
As his quiet smile would show

And I’m so please
At his end of life
He knew two of My Boys
Watched kids play again
In his front yard
As they made all kinds of noise

A quiet man
Who rarely spoke
But upon them he would gaze
I think it made
His life complete
And brought peace to his final days

My Mother now lives
In the old farmhouse
She says “One day it will be yours
When my time comes
And I join them both
On that far and distant shore”

It’s a prize which I
Don’t want to collect
But one day I know I will
For life goes on
Even in death
And the promise she’ll fulfill

But for now we’re here
By the old dirt road
And she gets to spoil My Boys
She’s their “Mom-Mom”
Whose eyes light up
When she buys them lots of toys

And as I watch
Those scenes unfold
Im taken back through time
To a little boy
In the summer sun
As I take a journey in my mind

The years they all
Just melt away
And once again I get to feel
My Grandma’s arms
As they hold me close
For just a moment it is real

Back to the time
When the child was I
Playing on this same old ground
Which my Sons now roam
As they jump and shout
And wreak havoc all around

My Brother too
Has moved back here
With a Wife and with three kids
And I’m glad they make
As much noise as
Both he and I once did

About a year ago
My middle Son
The one I never got to know
Came to find me
Now they’re living here
They too found their way home

And I find it strange
In a most wonderful way
That to him these hills would call
And though he grew up
In another place
He belongs here after all

He and his new wife
Live out here now
And we got the news today
They’re going to make me
Into the Grandpa
A baby girl is on the way

And another pair
Of precious little feet
In these old hills will get to roam
A Great-Great Granddaughter
Will run across his yard
And get to call this old place home

The children which
We once were
Are grown but still inside
They live within
Each one of us
And the joy I can not hide

‘Cause the hills they seem
Content again
As children’s laughter fills the air
And the yells and shouts
Of “Little Ones”
Echo around from everywhere

And it makes my
Inner Child awake
And want to come outside to play
With the kids again
In this little valley
And with Life Renewed…today

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