1. Independent LivingThe governance at Golden Pines
Intends to raze St. Joseph Hall
And so is not replacing
Those who move on
As circumstance conspires,
To Assisted Living,
(As if there were some other kind)
Or Health Care or Memory Care
Or other destinations.
One wonders, then,
What they must feel,
Those who remain,
Bringing their groceries in from the car,
One or two small bags,
To see only seven names left
On the directory
In the dimly lighted hall.
2. Tag Sale
On the walking track at Golden Pines
The hall is lined with tag sale wares.
Young staffers check out bargains,
High chairs bought for grandsons
Now in law school.
The Parkers, eighty-five, move slowly,
Inspecting here a sofa, here a lamp.
They’ve given up their cottage,
In Assisted Living now.
They do not intend to buy,
Just to retrace their steps.
That chair, she says, came from Maine, I think;
Look, you can just barely see
Where Annie spilled the juice.
Morning walk at Golden Pines:
Late February sky deep blue
Through trees for now still leafless
But about to change their minds.
A moving van packs up the contents of a cottage,
Fewer since her husband died,
And takes them to Assisted Living,
As if there were some other kind.
Across the pond, the hink and honk of geese,
Heading north, programmed to care for their own.
An ambulance pulls slowly away
From the Health Care Building,
Siren, blue lights turned off.
Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other Ladders, published in 2017 by Beech River Books. His poems have received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club. He is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Bob’s poems have appeared in over 150 periodicals, including Cold Mountain Review and Louisville Review.