Council of Elders

The Elders of the tribe
hold council for the young
offering the wisdom gleaned
through time. Wrinkled faces
bowed backs, they listen patiently
then, in brevity of words, offer
possibilities to consider, leaving
final decisions to wait until
all have been heard and a
vote taken; justice, fairness
compassion guide the process.

Now our Elders are abandoned
in hallways of loneliness
institutions where they sit
drugged into silence
to wait without honor
until death steals them away
and another forgotten
mother or father finds
their place of lost dreams.

Oh, you ungrateful children
your time will come when
you, too, are cast away
left on the roadside
like a forgotten shoe
you change a culture
that no longer respects
their elders to one
that cherishes all ages
from womb to tomb
and into the Great Beyond.


  1. So true and so unfortunate in our society! Having studied the field of gerontology, I have much compassion for the elders and want to change society’s attitude toward them. Unfortunately, I can’t do it alone 😦


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