February 9, 2014

'Expressions' Feature ~ Carolyn Devonshire...

Disposable Wisdom

Each day Annie Lesley opened a can
Her eighty-six-year-old hands trembling
As she sat with her cat and ate pet food
What is wrong with this elder’s rendering?
Pride swallowed to remain independent
Large, sunken eyes peered from her weathered face
Her late spouse a decorated hero
Annie's lifestyle a national disgrace

More enlightened cultures all over the world
Have revered their seniors throughout history
Asians and Native Americans
Are just two who honor their ancestry
Polynesians, other Pacific tribes
Respect the wisdom that comes with age
Seniors are welcome in family homes
But here in the states they’re placed in a cage
Bone-thin Annie Lesley chose to be free
Amazing neighbors with her endurance
When social services tried to intervene
She fought with remarkable resilience
Old photos on walls told many great tales
But only purring Tibby was listening
Each morning she rose to care for her cat
Until the day that Tibby went missing
In tears she claimed he must have been poisoned
Though in cat years he was older than she
Each day she sat by the window, staring
Awaiting the homecoming of Tibby
She’d been abandoned by society
Lost in the world’s most “progressive” nation
For sacrificing her spouse in World War II
Annie received little compensation
This widowed war bride never had children
Her mate had met his fate in Normandy
Posthumous awards she dusted each day
Annie’s life was defined by loyalty
To a man and a cat who never came home
And the vigil she kept by her porch
Ended quietly one warm summer night
When an angel came to take Annie home
With a can of cat food in hand when found
Annie had nothing else to eat in her house
This is the way a veteran’s wife died
And tear stains had blemished her faded blouse
Although seniors’ wisdom is heeded
In societies that grow from history
Too many like Annie lead lonely lives
Wisdom untapped, they die in poverty
- Carolyn Devonshire
A Note from Carolyn Devonshire - Annie's cat took a shine to me and I quickly became her friend. Just wish I had known she was starving. There were times when I was going out of town for a while and would bring fresh milk, eggs and bread to her. I should have done this more often, but I was in my 20s then and was very active socially. This is not an excuse, so I will live with the memory of a woman who might have lived longer had I been more observant of her needs.
Editor's Note: 'Expressions' proudly features a poetess with flair.
This story written by Carolyn Devonshire is many times so true here in America.
As people age, they have no one. They turn to their pets for companionship,
someone to share their life with, something to share a warmth. Sad as it
may be, the truth is told in Carolyn's words. Carolyn has been chosen
as January Poet of the Month at: 'Whispers...' Karen O'Leary, Editor whispersinthewind333.blogspot.com  ...rg


Karen O'Leary said...

Another profound and amazing poem by Carolyn Devonshire. Thank you, Rhoda, for featuring this talented writer. The emotion flows through Carolyn's poem delivering a important message. Congratulations on another honor Carolyn! You deserve it!

Blessings to both of you. Thank you for all you do for the writing community.


Rhoda Galgiani said...

Thank you Karen for taking the time to honor Carolyn and her writing abilities. It is with pleasure 'Expressions' has post her most valuable story. Many older people go without - many will feed their pets before getting their own nourishment for the day. Carolyn's poetry indeed touched my heart...rg

Rhoda Galgiani said...

Comment received from Carole Wolfram, UT...rg

Thank you for sharing this Rhoda. OMG...This is so heartbreaking, and I feel it is unfortunately so true with many of the seniors in our own country, today. You can tell a lot about a people by the way they treat the unborn, the elderly and their animals...and so the judgement will fall on this country if we don't repent.

Maurice Reynolds said...

I have tears in my eyes because it is a shame how people of this country have to struggle to survive. My father, who had a major stroke and was bed-ridden, had stayed in nursing homes before, but after the third time my mother took him out and brought him home and took care of him until he passed. Not one citizen of this country should have to eat cat food or struggle to survive. Carolyn, I am sure you did all you could in support of this precious lady. Do not think about what could have been; God knows your heart and what you did to help her. It's just a shame but this type of stuff happens every day. Thank you for being a light in this lady's life. I'm sure she appreciated it more than you know. And thanks for sharing this wonderful piece of literature. -MJ

Maurice Reynolds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maurice Reynolds said...

Congratulations on being the Feature Poet at Expression this month, Carolyn. And congratulations or being named the January Poet of the Month at Whispers. Yes, you certainly deserve both honors! -MJ

Charlene McCutcheon said...

Caroline, thank you for a very poignant well written poem. Your honors are well deserved. I for one will be more observant of my neighbors needs. Like Maurice said, no one should ever have to eat cat food and die hungry in this USA. We are and should be our brother's keepers.
Love Charlene