Take a Moment For the Elderly

reg430 By reg430, 4th Oct 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Poetry

The Elderly are often left in Care Homes to forge for themselves. We forget these people are our elders and because they raised us and took care of us, we do have an obligation and responsibility to ensure they are being taken care of, not left alone to wither away in their loneliness.

Background

When I was a kid, my mom worked in what were referred to at that time as Care Homes for the Elderly. From her tales, I learned a lot about the way the Elderly were treated, how often family members went to visit them, and who cared.

I learned by watching them, as they sat in rocking chairs or wheel chairs, how all- consuming loneliness can be.

I wrote the following poems as an adult as a way of dealing with the hole that is left in the heart when a person watches the Elderly treated as ornaments to be put in chairs along a wall, to wither away, or as people who don’t deserve attention and love.

Retired

An old man
In a fisherman’s hat,
a hunter’s vest,
and rubber boots to his knees,
drives a green Chevrolet
to Denny’s
three times a day
orders coffee,
doughnuts,
or dry toast.
Before leaving the café,
he asks the waitresses
for scraps.
He takes a bag
Of animal fat and bones.

Two times a day
He walks the strand
And talks to no one;
He doesn’t take long;
The dogs are waiting
At home.

Evolving Alone

At garage sales
Old ladies
Sell wedding rings,
discarded diamonds,
laughing
as young couples clasp
brittle jewels in their hands.

They listen to Big Band music
On radios cleared for sale.
They’re getting rid of everything
They’ve had forty/fifty years;
The cars, even the husbands are gone –
Died off ages ago
Leaving old ladies
To harden alone.

Tags

Elderly, Elderly People, Elderly Relatives

Meet the author

author avatar reg430
I have been involved in writing since earning my M.A. in English/Creative Writing over 20 years ago. Most of my work, though, has been in the classroom, helping others better their writing.

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Comments

author avatar GV Rama Rao
4th Oct 2014 (#)

A good poem with a noble idea.

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author avatar reg430
5th Oct 2014 (#)

Thank you, Rama Roa.

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author avatar Utah Jay
5th Oct 2014 (#)

Oh...This was soooo good. I watched both my Father and Mother go in places like that...It still hurts.

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author avatar reg430
5th Oct 2014 (#)

Yes, this type of behavior and setting does stay with a person for a very long time - perhaps for life.

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author avatar Retired
5th Oct 2014 (#)

Very sensitive and passionate work. Some of your best that I've seen. Very touching.
My parents both had very hard lives, and they are at rest now.
But, as Jesus might have said, all old people are our parents.

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author avatar reg430
5th Oct 2014 (#)

Thank you, r. nunez. Yes, both of my parents are gone now, and yes, they, too, had hard lives, but they did their best to raise me, my brother, and my sisters.

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