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