Friday, November 05, 2004

A visit to the home for the aged

Some are old enough to be your great granny/granpa.
Others, your grandparents.
Many are abandoned,
few are here by choice.
But all are victims of lack of space,
time, warmth and love from us.
Few are so shrunk and wasted,
you are afraid to sneeze,
lest you blow them away.
Some in wheel chairs,
some in walkers.
Few tread
the ground as though it were
thin ice.
Or mined.
Many wish you warmly,
without any reservation and you
feel bad,
because you didn’t
take the initiative.
Their expectant eyes hurt you most,
because they look at you with hope
and you refuse to befriend them.
And when you finally get courage
and overcome your revulsion
and hold one of those frail, wrinkled
hands, the bony fingers pincer you like claws.
It takes guts to be held by them.
But you are just another coward,
just like all those who had abandoned them
to this cruel fate.
You try to withdraw from the physical contact,
wondering whether you are any better
than the Nazis.

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