poem: where is everyone?

poem: where is everyone?

the ninth of ten siblings,
high school cheerleader,
dancer in the band,
friend to all she knew,
aunt, wife, mother, grandmother

her dreams and memories
are filled with people
which she often
vividly remembers today
feeling their close presence

she will often ask:
where are the young ‘uns,
is everybody upstairs,
didn’t so and so spent the night,
isn’t there thirty in our group

beloved, just us two
old folks living alone;
others out on their own,
some living alone, others passing on,
where is everyone indeed

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
February 18, 2022

photos: 1) the cheerleader
2) one of ten siblings front
row center (only nine are pictured)
3) Grandmomma

Author’s note: The elderly in our
society face multiple challenges
when it comes to remaining socially
engaged as we age. Perhaps first is
that our culture idolizes its’ youth and
encourages maintaining one’s youthful
attitude as long as possible into old age.
This negates the value elders may bring
to our culture such as seeing the world with
spiritual maturity and offering their wisdom
from long experience. Additionally, for many
as they age, there are factors leading to
increasing loneliness and social isolation.
Some of those factors include cognitive
conditions such as dementia and Alzheimers,
other worsening health conditions of
aging, living arrangements, and lack of
transportation, among other factors. We must
do better at forming inclusive, intergenerational
societies that value and bring dignity
to all regardless of age.

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