There’s no one to ask anymore. A poem

I dreamt I asked my aunt
About my brother’s relationship
With my uncle.
About what happened
In our family.
So many years have passed,
Generations gone.
Knowledge, perhaps wisdom, lost.
There’s no one to ask anymore.

We are left to our own devices.
Strands of lives past,
Old photos,
Perhaps a cousin who knows
More than I do.
We realize too late.
Tell me how you came to be here?
What did you leave behind?
What choices did you make?
And then we realize.
No one is here to answer our questions.

We ask our children about their lives.
We listen.
As we were, their lives
Immerse them, in the moment.
Again and again.
Perhaps some curiosity,
They might ask us.
What did you do?
What do you know?

But mostly not.
Learning, as we did,
With each step,
Until they realize,
They don’t know.
But by then,
No one is there,
To answer their questions.

—Robert Gilgoff
(Retired) Registered Psychologist,
College of Psychologists of BC

This post has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.

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