We put our elders away in homes and miss learning who they and we really are.
|Our grandparents fill the room.|
Sundays are visits from their kin.
Most doze in wheelchairs,
inert as drool drips from chins.
A few converse with themselves,
smile with delight at their stories.
We might be missing a bestseller.
All exotic birds, in fantasy flight with glory.
A tiny hummingbird, Ruthie,
apple round cheeks, eyes gleam.
Delicate hands flutter in the air,
a Julliard talent, dances in dreams.
The yellow canary is Nettie,
a red hat with purple flowers.
Once a designer of Stars
sings "Amazing Grace" for hours.
The little brown finch, Kathleen,
protects her nest,
clutches a precious memory purse
holds it tight to a flat chest.
The Macaw, an Indian named Redmond
tied in his chair, his voice screams;
"Mama, Mama" over and over.
Mama, long gone, knows what he needs.
They are important people,
once special, now betrayed.
Clocks are ticking much too fast,
as their time slips each day.
Our world stopped loving them.
We don't seem to care
for those who gave us life.
Older bodies say "time done, cast away."
Once the sparkle of youth,
the bud of a rose grew,
blossomed and petals fell,
still a stem remains alive and well.
By Kathie Stehr