While many of Margaret Steggles' poems are vivid celebrations of life, of new dawnings and opportunities and the strange beauty of seascapes and the night sky, there is a darker underlying theme - that of escape from the tyranny of the past. As a nurse, wife and mother, the poet clearly found she was living in ather's shadow, and was never able to kw herself. As she says, she was 'lost beneath the labels' and seemed to belong to someone else. 'When Our Children Leave the Nest' is a revealing piece that will strike chords with many parents, and was perhaps a catalyst for the writer's assertion of her own identity. Maybe these poems of hope, renewal and rediscovered purpose in life can help us too as we enjoy them.