The Forgotten Elderly

They were left behind
like empty carts in a now empty parking lot.
Once touched, then guided by sure hands
doing for others, sometimes in steady sun,
or picking up the pace in life affirming rain.
They weathered storms until they could not.
And now they sit, in that mawkish pool of wet,
that sickening smell of decay.
They sit in a place where no one comes,
drowning in their memories.


Photo by Janet Webb. Written for the incomparable Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Friday Fictioneers where we’re asked today, to respond to Ms. Wolf’s photo in 100 words or less. Word Count: 71.  Rochelle: please excuse the free verse rather than fiction today!

32 thoughts on “The Forgotten Elderly

  1. Graham Lawrence July 27, 2016 / 12:57 pm

    Lovely metaphors and choice of words. I love how you’ve interpreted the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 27, 2016 / 1:04 pm

      Thank you. Have not been on Friday Fictioneers for a bit — but found this photo entrancing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Graham Lawrence July 27, 2016 / 1:21 pm

        I’m glad you did!

        Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 27, 2016 / 1:47 pm

      These kinds of situations are indeed very very sad.


  2. petrujviljoen July 27, 2016 / 4:01 pm

    Hi Lillian! Fancy finding you here! Never thought one could get sentimental about a shopping trolley but there, or here, you have it. Hundreds of stories about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 28, 2016 / 6:45 am

      Haven’t been here for a bit – just was so taken by this photo. Took me a minute to realize these are trolley carts 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Shelli Freshour Bentley July 27, 2016 / 4:46 pm

    This one especially touched me. I know my mom (95 years next week but with alzheimer’s) is one of the lucky ones. She lives in a wonderful nursing home, visited and loved in Marengo. She feels so good – but sadly, not with her memories. Thanks for sharing. (I think I will write her a letter now.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 28, 2016 / 6:53 am

      So nice to see you here this morning! Did not realize you were reading my poems.
      Most important your mom is happy and in a good, caring and safe place. I’ve slowly been filling out a “mom’s” book for my two kids – it asks you to write down things about your childhood, growing up, favorite games, etc. I suppose it’s the opposite of a baby book. How I wish I’d done an oral history with my mom and dad. But then I suppose it would be on an old cassette tape and there would be nothing to play it on now! So maybe the written history is the way to go.
      Happy 95th to you and your mom. It is a cycle how the caregiving role shifts and sometimes reverses. I am 100% certain that you are a treasure to your mom.


  4. jwdwrites July 27, 2016 / 7:45 pm

    Powerful words here, I really liked this though it made me feel a bit sad, the point is it made me feel. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 28, 2016 / 6:54 am

      Yes indeed. The goal is to have readers climb inside the words and feel. So glad you were touched by this one.


  5. Victoria C. Slotto July 27, 2016 / 9:55 pm

    Oh my. Just this morning I visited three home-bound ladies to bring them communion. Two are totally alone and so fragile and lonely. It breaks my heart. This is a beautiful metaphor. Deeply touching.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 28, 2016 / 6:55 am

      Victoria, why am I not surprised that you are doing the good work for so many? I admire your words my friend – and your actions too.


      • Victoria C. Slotto July 28, 2016 / 9:25 am

        I’m just filling in for someone on vacation. It’s so touching to see these beautiful souls. It’s hard to volunteer when you spend time between 2 places.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. gahlearner July 28, 2016 / 5:12 am

    Beautiful and very sad. True for far too many. If we’re lucky, we’re living to an old age. Should we wish not to? It should not be this was, doesn’t have to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Vinay Leo R. July 28, 2016 / 10:59 am

    They sit in a place where no one comes,
    drowning in their memories.

    A sadness seeps out at these lines. Everyone deserves to be remembered by someone, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. rochellewisoff July 30, 2016 / 4:51 am

    Dear Lillian,

    No need to apologize for your beautifully written free verse. As my rabbi is fond of saying, “For every hard and fast rule, there’s an exception.” This piece cuts straight to the heart. Well done.



    PS It’s Janet Webb not Wolf 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 30, 2016 / 10:15 am

      Oh dear. Correcting it now. Apologies to Janet! With kids and grandkids till tomorrow — when I shall catch up on my reading! 🙂 See you then!


    • lillian August 9, 2016 / 8:35 am

      Hard to “like” but thank you for your thoughtful comment. It is indeed heartbreaking to now this loneliness exists.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Vision: The Spectrum of Aging November 9, 2016 / 6:46 pm

    Hello Lillian, This article made me feel incredible sadness. Especially, reminded me of an individual that was very dear to my heart, who had Alzheimer’s disease and who I saw less of when I moved away from our neighborhood. This makes me think of how lonely she may have been. This provoked emotion from me. Thank you. Please check out my blog as well!


    • lillian November 10, 2016 / 12:56 am

      Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I am on 27 days of cruise in Australia and New Zealand with extremely limited internet connection – that is very costly. When I return home, shall visit! Apologies.


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