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Morning Radio Sonnet

alesnick's picture

Morning Radio Sonnet
by Alice Lesnick

I must be getting old.
This morning I listened with deep feeling 
To a story of research chimps held by the NIH
Now recommended for retirement to
Sanctuaries, where they would be let to forage for food,
Build nests, live in groups (of at least 7), and
Go outside when they want to. I want that these chimpanzees 
Should retire in a state of grace
Like my grandmother after she stepped down from Met Life
(Her first paying job) – a position she held for 12 years 
After my grandfather died young. 

She retired to Glen Cove to live with my cousins:
Kept house in their house,
Met them with milk and cookies after school;
Volunteered in the hospital gift shop where she got me
jewels and chocolates when I came to visit.

I would visit the research chimps and tell them:
We are sorry for your loss.


Ann Dixon's picture

this reminded me of

/sci_cult/evolit/s05/monkey/monkeyintro2.html - My Great Granddaddy was a Monkey


alesnick's picture

I remember!

I remember!

jrlewis's picture

My Grammy is a Monkey?

I really like your use of animals, chimps, to pose an existential question.  What is the good life, at the end of life? You highlite how our needs and desires change over time.  "I must be getting old...listening with deep feeling".  I've been feeling old lately, the resurgence of back problems is almost certainly to blame. The limitation of my physical capacities has certainly changed my perspective of late.  I think loneliness is scariest aspect of aging.  Fear of being broken and lonely.  You have done a wonderful job broadening the scope of the question, making it less anthropocentric.  I now believe that chimps too suffer aging.