By Dave Hood
In the morning, You telephone your elderly mother
who shares her aches and pains,
worries about the snow on the walkway,
complains about the harsh winter,
recalls memories of a sour marriage,
her bitterness toward your father,
loss of lifetime friendships to death,
days now spent by herself in a three bedroom house.
Later in the day, You visit your aged, father, lying in bed,
in a nursing home. The smell of the place reminds of
a filthy public restroom.You ignore the odor,
ask him how he’s doing.
He shares his regrets of life,
not spending more time with his children,
wishing he’d remained married to your mother
instead of reacting to impulse, having a steamy affair
with his young secretary,
complains of poor care giving, lack of attention,
Lousy food, grumpy elderly he must eat with,
isolation, tells you he desires to die.
That evening, in the dark, you lay in bed,
unable to sleep, contemplate the meaning
of the “Golden Years.”