by Gregg Oakley


I will be saddened

As I grow older,

Not because of my age,

But because my elders,

Will be less of my elders.


Who will I look to

For wisdom and guidance?

Who will advise me

With words of experience?


Not knowledge,

Not information,

But lived wisdom.


I will be saddened

when my elders

Become less of

My elders.


  • Mariaana Guerrero

    This is so true on the part, “Who will I look to for wisdom and guidance?” I come from one of the rural villages and a lot of our elders have passed on that had the wisdom of our ancestors. Our Yupik language is also depleting. I have so much respect for elders and wish people knew how special they are. I do hope to work with elders as patients later and gain some wisdom in person.

  • Jennifer dawn Attwood

    This poem rings true and touches the heart when it comes to the elders that we currently praise in our lives, and the fact that we must all face death. When we are much older, we can only hope to have acquired great knowledge, etc. passed down by our ancestors. I love how this poem brings up something so important. It makes the reader question things and forces us to think about the elders in our lives. I am sure many others would respond the same. Great work!

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