on being elderly

on being elderly

A Poem by jacob erin-cilberto

on being elderly




arrogant physicians

with clumsy manner

and sometimes equally inept hands


diagnoses all over the charts

like roughly sketched treasure maps

feeling the incisions

of errant decisions,


we escape into anesthesia's woods

hoping to come out the other side

with elegant scars

and no poison ivy contrition 


lamenting our faith

in the Hippocratic oath

which often seems like

swearing on a seldom opened



we are reeling from the feeling

that we are not really healing


just mis-believing     

in not-so miracle cures

and poor etiquette added in

for good measure.





© 2016 jacob erin-cilberto

My Review

Would you like to review this Poem?
Login | Register


Been there > I am there
Told I need tablets >> What for/
The tests show I am in good health
Tablets are prescribed > never collected they would be waste >> That was ten years gone by and still no tablets

That's is the way it is
What /who do you believe Exercise it does you good > Exercise at your age definitely not
I still do

Posted 18 Hours Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

7 Hours Ago

thank you for sharing , Wild Rose---

yes, exercise....me too...tennis twice a week.read more
I see, hear and FEEL this write my friend. Every day it's a new pain or something else that doesn't work as it once did. I love the rhythmic word play in these lines (we are reeling from the feeling that we are not really healing) Been there done that! ~Sharon

Posted 8 Months Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

8 Months Ago

thank you for relating, Sharon, and your kind words.
dear Jacob.. Cut and sew... Wait and see... Believe me🍀 It is a rough sea...
Dreams of living are reality for me.
truly, Pat

Posted 10 Months Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

10 Months Ago

the sea is starting to have some heavy waves for me too...thank you for your words, Pat.
Loved the description.
We start believing in things we would otherwise call superstition when we find ourselves at someone else's mercy..
Really loved how you referred to the charts as "roughly sketched treasure maps" and the haze of being put under anesthesia as woods.

Posted 1 Year Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

thank you for your kind review, Nirupama--


1 Year Ago

You're welcome :)
You have poetically analysed a common situation in your usual elegant use of language and insight, Jacob.
Your condemnation of arrogant doctors is probably a reflection of their lack of understanding. They will become old eventually. I have often found, however, that making a jovial remark can "brighten their day" and their attitude can change in an instant.
Don't read them your poem, though.:-)))


Posted 1 Year Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

okay, i will not read them my poem...good advice, Norman...
thank you for your words...
.. read more
I don't think you have to be elderly to experience this. Just spend a little time in a hospital or in specialist office, where I swear you're just patient 6 of 30 for the day. I really think they've almost given up on talking options through, or explaining anything about your health. it really does leave little faith in the profession, when a few extra minutes and some kind words would go a long way to de-stress the patient and his family.

Posted 1 Year Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

everything you said is so true, Jan....yes.

thank you for your insights...as always, .. read more
Hello j,

Thanks for this insightful and well written write.

I have heard horror stories of certain elders who, for obvious reasons which are reprehensible...fail to get the proper and timely care they so desperately need, sometimes with tragic results...😰

Posted 1 Year Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

thank you for sharing your thoughts, Alisa...

And then robbed for all we're worth. Beautiful metaphors here, love the woods of anesthesia, dark and forbidding. A seldom opened bible.
We are reeling from the feeling
That we are not really healing

Almost feels like a satirical commercial jingle for a sugary cereal, eerie in content.

My mum hates her doctor because she is impassive and abrupt, says her nurse is much more of a friend and caregiver..
why has Healthcare gone so wrong for so many different reasons when it's something we all need? I don't understand it.

Posted 1 Year Ago

M. Shepherd

1 Year Ago

Those two lines* feel like a jingle. Not the entirety.
jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

thank you for your insightful reply and sharing your mom's experience....sounds like mine.
read more
Last year I got my first "big boy" physical, you know that after 40 one. I think I would have been better off staying at home.
This was great Jacob, a little different. It was fun, telling and so true.
My annual physical is next month....

Posted 1 Year Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

good luck next month, and thanks for your words, James.

Being elderly in itself is a tremendous challenge for far too many. When one is sick in addition to not having the proper resources to find adequate help it is indeed frustrating for the patient and those who are part of their support group. Our medical staff seems to be overworked in the area where I live and it is difficult to find specialists that are needed to treat those who are historically not in the best of health-WV ranks very high in the cases of ill health. I am sure there are doctors who are insensitive yet I have found those where I am to be compassionate; maybe they are just good country doctors. My primary doctor is one of the kindest men I have had the pleasure to know, and his wife is equally as kind to her patients. I know I am blessed, as are his other patients.
So sorry for the troubles you, or someone you love has had Jacob! It is good for us to express how we feel, and hope for change!!

Posted 1 Year Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Year Ago

i am so glad you have found compassionate doctors Sheila...there are many out there who are not...read more

First Page first
Previous Page prev
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


32 Reviews
Added on April 25, 2016
Last Updated on April 25, 2016


jacob erin-cilberto
jacob erin-cilberto

Carbondale, IL

Originally from Bronx, NY, I live in Carbondale, Illinois...teach English at two community colleges and have been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. Friending works two ways. If we have had .. more..