Friday, June 2, 2017

June 2: All the Possibility, Les Murray, "Nursing Home"

Yes, I just came back from a graduation party.  So many young people in shorts and tee-shirts, walking around, trying to act like adults.  It was sort of intoxicating, the memory of that kind of hope.  All the possibility of those last days of high school, when teachers and parents and aunts and uncles are telling you that you can do anything.  Anything at all.

On the other side of the coin, there's the elderly, at the end of their long journeys.  They have done it all.  Seen it all.  But nobody wants to listen to them any more.

Maybe, as part of graduating from high school, every senior should be required to visit a nursing home and talk to at least ten residents.  Ask them about their lives.  Ask them for advice.  Thank them for making the world a better place.

Saint Marty thinks the class could be called "Growing Up 101."

Nursing Home

by:  Les Murray

Ne tibi supersis:
don't outlive yourself,
panic, or break a hip
or spit purée at the staff
at the end of gender,
never a happy ender -

yet in the pastel light
of indoors, there is a lady
who has distilled to love
beyond the fall of memory.

She sits holding hands
with an ancient woman
who calls her brother and George
as bees summarize the garden.

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