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Poem: "Transplanting Gramps" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Transplanting Gramps"

This poem came from the February 5, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from DW user Chordatesrock.  It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  This poem belongs to the series An Army of One: The Autistic Secession in Space.


Transplanting Gramps


He wasn't in the army.
He wasn't young and able-bodied
like the secessionists who had  been in the army.
He wasn't even a veteran,
like a few who had moved into the Lacuna,
although he had his own memories of the war,
as layered and pungent as the skin of an onion.

He was  of the same mind as them
and he brought with him
decades of experience in that,
rather than any unique and brilliant skill
like the various specialists who made up
most of the secessionist population.

That was why
he uprooted himself
and moved to the Lacuna,
even though he presumably had
only a few years left in his life.

"You're all whippersnappers,"
he said to the bright young things
who met him in the landing bay,
staring at him with wide eyes and open mouths.
"You can't build a whole society from all the same folks,
any more than you can build a whole starship
from one box of all the same gears.
You need babies for the future
and old folks for the past,
so here I am."

They were uncertain
where to plant him because
there was no place  for elders in the military,
no role waiting for him to fill it --
except that what he said was true --
they had a narrow age range and maybe
that was causing unexamined problems.

He didn't care where they put him,
and he couldn't magically solve all their problems,
but having Gramps around did make them think
about where they had come from and
what might happen later when
they, themselves, grew old.

Almost unnoticed,
the spiral galaxy of their society
spun slowly through another quarter-turn
into the future.

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4 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: chordatesrock Date: February 22nd, 2013 02:35 am (UTC) (Link)

Another thing to make public

This comes from the discussion we had about the use (or non-use) of the word "autism" within the poems of the series:

I was assuming that the reason these people were able to get into the military was partly because they weren't diagnosed with anything. I was assuming that they were unstudied anomalies in this universe, and that the secession was the beginning of recognition of autism in their universe. See also: our universe, which allowed some people with autism to serve in the US military before the wider recognition of Asperger's syndrome, but barred them after it became apparent that this was something potential recruits might actually have. It will also help you gloss over or avoid altogether the implication that your characters (at least, the ones who appear more normal) would have spent their childhoods in therapy. I don't know of anything good that would come of making autism explicit in-universe, except the possibility of secessionists with special interests in autism.
(Deleted comment)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 23rd, 2013 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>>Always good to have someone around who opens up the mind to things that previously hadn't occurred to anyone.<<

Sooth.

>>Possible correlation with Court Jesters/mind altering drugs?<<

Hmm ... I don't know. There's so little social cohesion at this early stage, it's harder to see who's on the outside of the society.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 11th, 2017 07:41 am (UTC) (Link)

the wisdom of the elders

I don't know whether Gramps would appreciate it, but I'd love to give him a great big hug. He's done something wonderful and altruistic, and I'm glad that the denizens of the Lacuna have enough sense to realize that.

Now, just imagine if Aidan Spencer from Polychrome, could make his way to the Lacuna...

- Callibr8
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 11th, 2017 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: the wisdom of the elders

>> I don't know whether Gramps would appreciate it, but I'd love to give him a great big hug. <<

:D Oh, probably.

>> He's done something wonderful and altruistic, and I'm glad that the denizens of the Lacuna have enough sense to realize that.<<

Sooth. But it's good for him, too, having a society of his own. Even for the people who don't move there, it gives them an option.

>> Now, just imagine if Aidan Spencer from Polychrome, could make his way to the Lacuna... <<

He's marvelously adaptable and very wise. He could teach them a lot. But I think they'd find him very confusing.
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