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Best Practice

Vol. 9, Nos. 1 & 2

On Delivery of Legal Assistance to Older Persons

March 1998

The Harsh Winter
A Poem By Daniel Lichterman

Each year since 1986 when the Lichterman Award was first bestowed on Arthur Flemming, Daniel Lichterman, Paul Lichterman's son has presented the award plaque. In 1997, Daniel authored and presented the poem "The Harsh Winter" at the award ceremony. This poem reflects the theme of Symposium '97 and this Best Practice Notes: reinvigorating legal assistance for the elderly. For those readers who were unable to hear Daniel at the 1997 Awards Luncheon, we give you here a copy of his original text.

The Harsh Winter

By Daniel Lichterman, 12/8/97

Once a small, tender shrub in my garden
You endured many seasons.

From tender awkwardness you grew roots,
Berries ripened under your lush green leaves,
Your stem hardened into resilient wood.
You faced the bleakest of winters.

You saw a brutal frost this year.
Your leaves blew away
and I cut back your branches.

I wondered if your leaves would ever return,
If you would survive
the harsh winter.

I questioned the time I invested in you.
Your appearance stripped of its beauty
You became a twisted sculpture.
And it seemed you belonged in a museum
And not in a garden.

Spring, then summer.
You survived.
Your leaves gradually returned.
You were different.
Some of you was gone forever.
Your shape was changed by the frost
And your branches spread in new directions.

Your green elegance
Is dependent on nature's whims.
Yet in your changing and adaptation
You hide a strength for renewed life.

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The Center for Social Gerontology, Inc.
A National Support Center in Law and Aging
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