Frank J. Montoya

LAMENT OF THE LITTLE ONES

Fitsimons Army Medical Center Unit Insignia
Fitsimons Army Medical Center Unit Insignia
Where have all the people gone?
Those who spoiled us for so long.
For years they treated us… oh! So well
The “oohs” and “aahs” were really swell.

Some of us would chirp a tune: “Twee Twee”,
Some would look scared and scurry up a tree.
Then we’d all look down to see what we could find,
‘Cause we were used to treats of each and every kind.

Bread and seeds and nuts and crackers, too:
Even cookies and candy those people threw.
We would chew and peck and get our fill.
We were fat and sassy – our wants were nil.

Those were happy times, children laughed with glee,
To see us peeking at them from high up a tree.
But those wondrous days are gone it seems:
Never more to be except in dreams.

Someone said: “This hospital must close down!”
“The sick can get their care in town!”
Another broken promise to those who served:
No more the medical care so well deserved.

It’s said a College might soon be here.
But what of us by this time next year?
Cold winter days will soon appear.
Will the students and faculty hold us dear,
Or will we live in torment, want and fear?

Fitzsimons Hospital is no more.
No staff or patients as there were before.
We watch but no one goes in or out the door.
Who will feed us now? We do implore.

The Birds and Squirrels of Fitzsimons Army Hospital (Closed 1998)
(As related to and translated by Frank J. Montoya)

Author’s Note: Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, opened in 1918, was a major medical facility for nearly 80 years and provided care for untold thousands of military personnel from WWI to Vietnam and the Gulf War. {Patients ranged from Private to Commander-in-Chief (Pres. Eisenhower). For reasons no one could ever logically explain, it was closed in 1998.

My wife and I were patients there and we and thousands of local area retirees sorely miss the old hospital. As my poem states, we were not the only ones who hated to see it close.