did look down
on the valley
and chastised it
for being so low
the wind blew
the rain fell
looked toward the sky
This poem is about care for the elderly and perspective. It is about relative positions in life.
In the poem there are three people: the valley, the hill, and the mountain. The valley represents the elderly person. The hill represents the adult child of the elderly person. The mountain represents the child of the adult child. This is three generations.
In the poem, the adult child is frustrated with their elderly parent. They look down on them and chastise them for their physical incapability. They can’t understand why the elderly person can’t be like themselves.
The adult child is oblivious to the progression of life. In the poem there are three stages: a mountain, a hill, and a valley. As a mountain erodes it becomes a hill. As a hill erodes, it becomes a valley. The adult child is criticizing their elderly parent for their physical incapability, not realizing they are moving in the same direction. They don’t see their own erosion (represented by the wind and rain). They don’t see where they’ve been, and they aren’t realizing where they are going. They don’t realize they will be elderly someday, and therefore they don’t have compassion on someone who is elderly.
The mountain, representing the person in the third generation, has their focus somewhere else. They don’t see the hill or the valley. This shows that they are oblivious both to the treatment of their elderly relative, and of the reality that they will one day be in that position. They don’t see the future implications for themselves. They are concerned with other things.
It can sometimes occur in the care of the elderly, that the caregiver doesn’t see themselves in the one they care for. They don’t see that they too will be in that position. It can also be the case that younger generations are concerned about other things and don’t see the actions of caregivers or the condition of the elderly. The poem is meant to highlight these things.