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Disposable Wisdom

Carolyn Devonshire Avatar  Send Soup Mail  Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Disposable Wisdom which was written by poet Carolyn Devonshire. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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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 all alone
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

Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire

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  1. Date: 7/25/2015 7:21:00 PM
    Too many people forget what the seniors have gone through, what knowledge the have to share, and their true resilience in life. Nice to see that someone remembers.

  1. Date: 6/22/2015 12:52:00 PM
    Dearest Carolyn, I have visited your poem many times before I could form a comment. The truth is your poem literally brought me to tears. I am studying for my MS in Gerontology, your verse could be used alone to educate the masses. I am still pretty much agape and speechless of your piece, yet I know it must reach farther than poetrysoup. With all due respect, jill :.)

  1. Date: 1/30/2015 12:55:00 AM
    Excellent poem and very sad and true. It's such a shame that we treat our precious seniors in this way.

  1. Date: 1/7/2015 2:00:00 PM
    Who could believe this could happen to any elderly. It breaks my heart. Thank God I am here to look after my mother.

  1. Date: 12/8/2014 6:24:00 PM
    Thanks for writing a poem so relevant. ~Joel

  1. Date: 10/7/2014 3:11:00 PM
    Excellent write Carol! I love this piece you did wonderful bring awareness to this very important and sad subject about the elderly and what's so shamefully is taking place in so many countries and places around the globe. The elderly are just disposed of just like a piece of old rags and ignored and sent away .They need more our love and caring as the grow older. Love and hugs! Have a lovely week ahead! ;)xxxx D.

  1. Date: 8/28/2014 7:15:00 AM

  1. Date: 8/20/2014 5:58:00 AM
    A great write. congrats on the win, Carolyn

  1. Date: 8/19/2014 9:14:00 PM
    This is a sympathetic poem showing your thoughtfulness of others. Congratulations on your win. Please add Brian to your prayer list. I have watched him grow up into a fine young man and cannot bear to think of losing him. He has been unconscious for more than a week and has shown no sign of waking.. Love, Joyce

    Devonshire Avatar Carolyn Devonshire
    Date: 8/20/2014 12:49:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Joyce, I will ask some of my friends to pray for Brian as well.
    Devonshire Avatar Carolyn Devonshire
    Date: 8/20/2014 12:44:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Of course I will pray with you, Joyce. God bless you for your concern for others! Love, Carolyn
  1. Date: 8/19/2014 9:08:00 PM
    I found your poem just now and was about to read it, when I noticed that the time was exactly 7 pm. At 7 pm on Tuesday, we members of our Lutheran church stop what ever we are doing to pray for others. Tonight we are focusing on a nineteen year old fine young man from good home who is lying helpless in a hospital room after hitting his head in a fall. All we can do is wait and pray.

  1. Date: 8/19/2014 1:33:00 PM
    Hey Everyone! When I said 'Off you go now' I didn't know you were totally going to blow my mind, not all of you at once! I am honored to have read your poetry. Thank You for entering my contest! Off You Go Now, Judy

  1. Date: 7/13/2014 11:53:00 AM
    Oh lady, congrats on your third place :) hugs xox

  1. Date: 7/13/2014 8:28:00 AM
    carolyn, loneliness of the elderly is an issue in all societies. congrats on this touching write. Mohan

  1. Date: 7/12/2014 9:45:00 PM
    Oh yes, I remember this poem from another time. it was excellent then and it still is now. Congratulations, carolyn on your fine win in Kim's contest. love and hugs, catie :)

  1. Date: 7/12/2014 10:45:00 AM
    This is a great poem, Carolyn...states so well the problem we have in our country. We took care of my mother for over ten years; it is a difficult task at best; with difficult people it can be a killer. This is a problem for which we need answers. Congratulations on a great win.

  1. Date: 7/12/2014 4:50:00 AM
    Ageing loneliness portrayed so well Carolyn! A thotful write indeed ! Thanks for sharing n congrats on big win!

  1. Date: 7/12/2014 4:27:00 AM
    Good day Carolyn! So glad I found this excellent poem on the winners' list, otherwise I would not have known it existed. It's so heart touching! It highlights very well the loneliness that accompanies old age. Congrats on a deserved win. Take care. // paul

  1. Date: 7/11/2014 9:18:00 PM
    Fantastic work here! Congrats Kim

  1. Date: 6/30/2014 4:58:00 AM
    An outstanding write! We should pay more attention to the needs of our Seniors. After all, we'll be lucky to live that long and want the best lifestyle possible.

  1. Date: 6/4/2014 10:01:00 AM
    Carolyn, I've not ever read a more moving account of the plight of our American elderly. The tragedy, of course, is the truth it contains, and the national shame that accompanies it. A marvelous write. Thank you so much for sharing. Jack C