Friday, June 19, 2009

The Older Generation

Last week I went to Whanganui (note my politically biased spelling!) for the funeral of my uncle, Moore. After my parents both died eight months apart in 1988, I thought I adjusted to the fact that my sister and I were now The Older Generation. But when Moore died I discovered that I'd only been pretending to be a well adjusted oldie - the death of this last parental sibling came as a shock: not the fact of his death, but the fact of my status.

Once There Were Ten: Five a Side

Just eleven years old
Nancy was first to go:
My mother’s twin
lost to polio.

Then Sergeant Robert
went off to the war.
died in Greece
just twenty four.

Ned was sick
before he died -
for so many years,
it was no surprise.

Much later was George
who clung to life
trying so hard
to stay with his wife.

Lyndsay left next,
nine months later she died
neither she nor George
met their sixth grandchild.

Then the other Robert,
Alison, and Guy,
and finally Moore.
the last to die.

My sister’s still here,
our children, and theirs,
but we have become
the Elders, I fear.


Meliors Simms said...

lovely poem, very moving

Ruth said...

Hi there :)
Yes,I know what you mean. I think it's ok when we own what we write and say. When we are writing or expressing from our own experiences and interpretations of people. Not for them or 'about' them but that's a very fine line isn't it?! Especially with our children - I don't really write about them too much. Maybe I'm too self-indulgent lol.
Yes! I did notice your politically biased spelling!
You are young, young young young. I'm wondering if you are back on RUA, I really miss your wisdom and all that you offer homeschool wise.