I embrace a poetic view of life—that’s me. I grew up in a ranching community where we valued and celebrated life, babies, the elderly and rain! We valued older people and children equally! We also placed value on life in any form, and in the spring, a rancher’s delight centered on spring time calving season and the birth of the new calf crop.
I watched my dad labor over a cow struggling to give birth, and if she died, then I witnessed his tender care for an orphan calf, bottle-feeding it to keep it alive. Each season offered a reason to celebrate life and nature and respect death and loss, so the environment fostered a deep yearning in my soul to look at this world in a different way. It also encouraged me to wonder about the good and the bad—the heavy summer thunderstorm that filled the reservoirs and the loss of that momma cow. Life offers me opportunities to look, to see, to wonder and that’s what I’ve done in our current world situation.
So, it was a natural reaction for me to write poetry in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Over a month ago, I wrote this following poem pondering the value of human life. As the numbers have increased, I can’t become immune to the horror. Thousands of people have died daily because of this pandemic, and it forced me to think about the value of each of those lost.
In this past month, I’ve watched bizarre behavior on the news and wonder, “what about empathy first for the dying? For those who have lost someone in this tragedy?”
What’s One Person’s Value? March 27, 2020 How do we value one person’s worth? How do you gauge a life? Do we honor each other? Treasure each other? One individual’s death Sends ripple Across the sphere! Angels celebrate With cheers and tears Humans lament Their loss These two worlds collide How do we value one gone? You had a life A family you loved Who loved you A spirit A soul Your color doesn’t matter Your ethnicity Your religion Your gender You mattered To someone Their hearts broke at your death! Mine did, too! Instead of becoming Immune to loss During this pandemic, My heart hurts Wide and deep For loss For disruption For you. Chances are You died alone No loved one held your hand Kissed your brow Whispered sweet memories Into your ear. The horrors The Aloneness The deaths The losses Gone Never to return! What did we as a world lose When you died? What contribution? What impact? We will never know!
What do you think—do we value the individual? Does our behavior match our words? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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~Whitey & Gladys Puerling, playful friends of Flippo’s, created a Fan Club. I thought it would be fun to recreate this group. Would you like to join the Marshall Flippo Fan Club Facebook page? Read interesting posts about Flippo’s life. https://www.facebook.com/groups/328325644382769/
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