A hundred years ago, we lived among
our relatives; extended family
surrounded Mom and Dad when they were young.
That had a dozen cousins – they could see
resemblances in attitude and face.
Inhabitants of tenements and farms,
the aunts and uncles settled round the place,
and kept their doors as open as their arms.
Then suburbs were produced, with cars and lawns,
and we began to pull apart and dwell
in cul-de-sacs. We paid for space with yawns.
And no one had the wisdom to foretell
we’d have to build age ghettoes for old friends,
and euthanize our pets before their ends.