Herb’s a middle-age son with
a big family and lots of pressure.
Too busy to care for Mom and Pop
so he drives to Shady Lane to see
if he thinks they might like the place.
It’s Open House today at this
country villa built for seniors.
Inside a trio of men in derbies, vests
and spats plays Dixieland Jazz
and young ladies dressed like flappers
dance the Charleston.
A few old folks applaud at tables.
The Host in his tux invites Herb
to try the shrimp, cheese and wine
at the big buffet. Delicious.
Then he goes up to see a unit
not big enough for his parents.
On this quiet floor above the noise
Herb gets to see some residents,
gray folks with walkers and canes
moving up and down the hall.
They make certain not to wake
one of their own, an older woman
who fell asleep in her wheelchair.
There are two worlds today at Shady Lane,
the one downstairs and the one upstairs
but tomorrow there will be just one.