Poetry: “The World’s Oldest Person”
The World’s Oldest Person
has died. She attributed her longevity to divorce and raw eggs, which she ate daily. A previous record holder had no idea why she’d lived so long. Another credited the Lord; still another cited getting enough sleep. (They’re primarily women.) Moisturizer, home cooking, kindness. Hard work. Expensive lingerie. A former world’s oldest man claimed the secret was joy. Minding your own business. Bowling, fishing, great-great-grandkids. Many lived for decades alone. One got her hair done on Tuesdays. One took a job as a housekeeper at ninety. Every night she set her table before eating a plate of pasta. She was buried with a photograph of her son, who’d died in infancy. Some had the title for hours, others for months or years. They gave interviews, greeted fans. One declared there was nothing left to accomplish. Another lamented that it had gone so fast. Their birth records were hard to come by, if they even existed. One wasn’t sure what day she was born, but her marriage license confirmed the year. They fought for women’s suffrage, endured Jim Crow, lost count of wars. Most passed quickly and peacefully. The person who lived to the greatest confirmed age thus far was a chain-smoker who quit when she could no longer see well enough to light a cigarette. She wanted to go to the moon. She ate two pounds of chocolate each week. By Elizabeth Onusko in The Sun, August 2018, p. 23
May your life be long and happy and full of love. (And don't smoke - but the chocolate could be a good idea). Aloha, Renée
Banner photo – Liberata, who lives in the Italian province of Vibo Valentia, holds a photo of herself as a young woman. Photo by Raffaele Montepaone. From: The Sun, “A Long Life” August 2018, p. 16-18.