Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tell Me

image source
He's a little bit sheepish
but he always says thanks
I don't know what I'd do without you all
It's hell getting old
and I hate being stuck here
but I don't get around much since my fall

She says sorry for the house
I hate that it's a mess
but it's getting hard for me to keep it clean
Before my husband died
we used to take such pride
and had parties here like you have never seen

Did I tell you?
Did I tell you?
Go ahead, tell me again
I've got a couple minutes I can spare
I remember
I remember
when I used to be someone
but the someone that I used to be's not there

She opens up her door
but it takes her quite a while
She doesn't hear the bell ring anymore
The robe she wears is stained
her hair could use a wash
and I notice that some pills spilled on the floor

She says she isn't hungry
she's just a little tired
she wonders why she's always so damn cold
She promises she'll eat
if I'll turn up her heat
She tells me that it's hell when you get old

Did I tell you?
Did I tell you?
Go ahead, tell me again
I've got a couple minutes 'fore I roam
I remember
I remember
when I used to be someone
Now I'm ready
for the Lord to call me home.

for Open Link Night, Week 11, at dVerse Poets Pub


Bouncin' Barb said...

That is truly sad but so beautifully written. Just proves my point, enjoy every day and make memories! Great post Lola.

Fireblossom said...

Sometimes I think that's why age is so hard....to help us let go. I don't want to be old. Truly, if I make 70 that's plenty.

Reflections said...

Ouch! What a painfully honest piece... so often this is what it comes to, just waiting for a moments interaction, some simple meaning to the day. Beautiful piece. Love your use of repetition here.

Heaven said...

That is a sad and lonely image in getting old.

I like the repetitive lines... yes, if only we got the time to listen...lovely share ~

Mark Kerstetter said...

Years ago, when I was a boy, the youth group of the church I went to visited a nursing home. We sang some hymns and wandered around talking to the folks. I was sitting in a room with a frail old woman, having a nice little chat when suddenly her whole countenance seemed to go blank. She asked me to hold her hand, nothing but a little bundle of trembling bones. I watched as her heart beat violently against her chest, like it wanted to burst out, and thought, I'm going to watch this person, whom I've never met before, die while she holds my hand.

Today that woman whose name I never knew is long gone, but the memory of that moment is as vivid as yesterday.

Reflections said...

Not sure if my previous comment disappeared... if not, sorry for a repeat.

Love your use of repetition in this, really makes it stand out. Nicely done.

Brian Miller said...

a tender sadness...i am glad the narator spent a little time with her...after having lost a spouse and succumbing to age i hope she gets her closing wish soon enough...

Deborah said...

So sad, and so often true, well written.

ayala said...

Heartbreaking, you captured it perfectly.

lynne said...

I used to visit a senior in the retirement home just to read to him.. He missed being able to read for his eyesight was failing..
We must remember to surround our elders with love & care..
This is a poignant piece on aging..

Dave King said...

This is wonderful Beautiful. I must come back when I can read it at my leisure.

Adura Ojo said...

Such a sad story, unfortunately the reality of some at that time of life. Society really does need to learn to take better care of the vulnerable in old age. I get the feeling there are diffrent characters and yet a unity of theme binds them together. Thoughtful, powerful narrative, yet poetic.

Jinksy said...

A scenario which is all too common these days...

nene said...

As you know, Lolamouse, I'm continuously mentioning in my blog the human condition of aging and mortality. I think talking about these issues is cathartic as well as the notion that familiarity assuages fear of the unknown.

Your nuance portrayal of aging is helpfully real.

Anonymous said...

Went through the "sun down" process in caring for my dad a decade ago next month. Holding a hand can secure one's aging world. How accurate your words are today.

darev2005 said...

She used to have a carefree mind of her own
And a devilish look in her eye
But these days I'm afraid she's not even sure
That her name is Veronica

-Elvis Costello

Sheila Moore said...

a lovely story and the repetitions really sunk in deep for me both in the meaning of how this woman talked to the writer and of how her days are now. I have worked with the elderly for a long time and how ever sad this picture is it is so accurate...they are just anxious to get home to the Lord as I am sure I will be too, God willing I live to be that age.

gautami tripathy said...

This is so touching. And so true about old age...we need to be more sensitive about their needs...

chained the present

Lolamouse said...

darev: I was humming Veronica all day yesterday! Love Elvis Costello. We named our daughter Allison after the song (I know, not a very happy song but we both liked the song and the name and it was one of the few we could agree on!)

Victoria said...

So poignant, Lola. I've worked with the elderly most of my life as a nurse and now it's creeping up on me. You show a great sensitivity to the issues.

Nicholas V. said...

Very poignant and moving... Especially so for me at the moment, coping with an elderly friend in the first stages of dementia.

Anonymous said...

You are an angel, aren't you? Tears on this one...