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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 © | Year Posted 2009




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Date: 8/10/2022 12:59:00 PM
With tears streaming down my face, your stunning poem is a reminder and wake up call to all those that know of someone old and living alone, that some visits are overdue. All I can utter at the moment Carolyn, is "Thank you".
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Date: 4/7/2022 5:45:00 PM
this brought vivid memories back as i worked on Operation Find for the American Red Cross visiting seniors and making them aware of governmental help available....a lot of truths within this poem...excellent read, thank you
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Date: 2/1/2022 7:27:00 PM
"When we see this happening to seniors, we know it may be our fate too. It is so easy to reach out and offer companionship to them and listen to their stories. It was as if no one noticed when Annie died, but she was my neighbor and I miss her." Your words still ring true from this comment left from years ago. The poet that wrote them now fondly missed too. -R
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Date: 10/21/2021 9:40:00 AM
Thank you for writing this poem, Carolyn. That truth needs to be repeated over and over until someone changes it.
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Date: 5/4/2021 11:29:00 AM
OH MY...so very sad. and so very true of so many wonderful strong senior who have been left to fend for themselves. I pray Annie found her cat and husband beside her on her new journey.
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Date: 1/25/2021 9:04:00 AM
This poem speaks to my heart. How poignant the story of this lovely lady Annie Lesley. Exceptionally well-written. What a vivid picture this poem realistically paints of how we treat our elderly. Thanks for sharing!
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Carolyn Devonshire
Date: 1/25/2021 3:07:00 PM
Thanking you for checking out this old one. Annie was a very nice neighbor and friend. I'll never forget her!
Date: 12/9/2020 1:56:00 PM
Well done. So sad but all to true. Beautifully penned.
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Date: 8/23/2020 4:34:00 AM
What an amazing poem! And you handled the rhyme scheme so well. What a plight for some seniors. This is so true too often.
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Date: 2/14/2020 6:59:00 PM
Carolyn, this is very true. I've seen and observed that this plight happened to many seniors. A great write. Again, you hit the nail on the head. Well crafted poem my friend. Ernilando
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Date: 1/30/2020 12:09:00 PM
Carolyn, It's fact n fate for some seniors. Those are surrounded by children n grandchildren are surely blessed. But for lone seniors situation is grave. Any way nicely penned.
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Date: 1/29/2020 10:01:00 AM
Carolyn: At 79 I have some understanding of what you are saying: However: The line about her refusing Social Services Intervention sheds a different light on her plight. If you won't accept help, don't curse those that wanted to help but you were to proud to accept. :o) oldbuck
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Date: 1/29/2020 8:58:00 AM
Hi Carolyn: I was vey touched by the sad refrain of a Grand Dame's memories. We can only hope that most seniors are surrounded by their loved ones when the day comes...Ralph
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Date: 1/28/2020 11:26:00 AM
A "great" write and read. So true for many people. And the question is "why"???? Have a wonderful day............
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Date: 1/28/2020 10:10:00 AM
A lovely piece so enjoyable Carolyn, though sad in many ways but an excellent pen. Blessings, Gordon
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Date: 1/27/2020 6:49:00 PM
Carolyn, This little story has touched my heart. Very well written. Cal Bambi
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Date: 1/27/2020 6:34:00 PM
Utterly heart wrenching. I see it's the story of your neighbor. How sad, but I'm glad she knew you. Damn well done.
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Date: 1/1/2020 6:09:00 PM
Could relate to your poem as Australians are only a few shadowy footsteps behind U.S. Prices rise to the pensioners demise
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Date: 12/29/2019 2:29:00 PM
Hello Carolyn Devonsshire, even today seniors live this way. It is very sad. the homeless also live this way. It is sad. Haave a nice day my friend.
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Date: 11/29/2019 6:54:00 PM
This is so true but sad. A wise wake up call. We are all getting old. People don't think about their neighbors anymore. Me, I know everyone of mine. I try to be helpful when ever needed. If more people thought about other people rather than themselves no one would be eating cat food or alone.
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Date: 7/15/2019 12:26:00 AM
A sadly incredible, real story, every day. Excellent read. Ann
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Carolyn Devonshire
Date: 7/20/2019 9:30:00 AM
Whether we like it or not, these issues are ones we will all face one day. Thanks for reading, Ann.
Date: 1/31/2019 8:21:00 PM
G'day Carolyn … very sad story indeed Carolyn. You got me musing. What is the worst. Loneliness or death - this poem really did have me wondering about societies attitude - thank you Carolyn - Lindsay
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Carolyn Devonshire
Date: 1/31/2019 8:27:00 PM
You can see how your poem and this one are related, Lindsay. Instead of asking, "What are we going to do about Mom?" we should be asking, "What can we do to make Mom happy?" Surround her with love. Thanks for reading.
Date: 1/18/2019 6:28:00 PM
Well, I have to say I am completely over whelmed! I had no idea there were any poems out there with 8 pages of comments! You are like a goddess of poetry! I'm totally amazed and humbled that you bothered to read some of my ramblings. Amazing write of course and a FAV for me. Makes me want to cry to tell the truth, but if not to stir emotions what else is poetry for?? Well done and I will be committing a lot of time rummaging through you poetic "attic" for gems! An admirer...................pat
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Carolyn Devonshire
Date: 1/18/2019 8:13:00 PM
When we see this happening to seniors, we know it may be our fate too. It is so easy to reach out and offer companionship to them and listen to their stories. It was as if no one noticed when Annie died, but she was my neighbor and I miss her.
Date: 12/14/2018 9:46:00 PM
Another well written tear jerker, no wonder it's in the top ten of all time, shed a tear over her!
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Carolyn Devonshire
Date: 12/14/2018 9:55:00 PM
She was my neighbor for a couple years long ago. She let me inside her home because her cat liked me. Annie was afraid of most people. It seemed as though everyone had abandoned her. Her memory will always be with me. Thanks for reading, John
Date: 5/15/2017 3:04:00 PM
I had a lump in my throat after reading this poem. What a crime that this poor woman endured. So sad!! No one should have to live like she did :(
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Date: 3/24/2017 7:31:00 PM
A powerfully sad write Carolyn..
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