Thursday, March 30, 2006

See Old Lady's Poem

I found this poem in the
paper many many years ago.
I had just started being an
nurses aide. So I kept a
copy of it. And from time
to time I would make a
copy and put it up on the
bulletin board at work for
all the new aides to see,
in hopes they would see
in the eyes and soul of
those they worked with.

I had heard several stories
of where it came from.
England, Scotland and
others. One it was found
by a son, another it was
found by the aides. But
it was signed with
anonymous on it.
I have seen it go
around the emails as well.
Still no author.
And no matter how many
times I read it, it still hits
my soul.
An Old Lady's Poem

What do you see, nurses,
what do you see?
What are you thinking
when you're looking at me?
A crabby old woman,
not very wise, Uncertain of habit,
with faraway eyes? Who
dribbles her food and makes no
reply When you say in a loud
voice, "I do wish you'd try!" Who
seems not to notice the things
that you do, And forever is losing a
stocking or shoe..... Who,
resisting or not, lets you do as
you will, With bathing and feeding,
the long day to fill...

Is that what you're thinking?
Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse;
you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am as I sit
here so still, As I do at your
bidding, as I eat at your will.

I'm a small child of ten...with
a father and mother, Brothers
and sisters, who love one another.

A young girl of sixteen, with
wings on her feet,
Dreaming that soon now a lover
she'll meet.

A bride soon at twenty --
my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that
I promised to keep.

At twenty-five now, I have
young of my own, Who need
me to guide and a secure happy

A woman of thirty, my young
now grown fast, Bound to each
other with ties that should last.

At forty, my young sons have
grown and are gone, But my
man's beside me to see I don't

At fifty once more, babies play
round my knee, Again we know
children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my
husband is dead; I look at the
future, I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing
young of their own, And I think
of the years and the love that I've

I'm now an old woman...and
nature is cruel; it's jest to make
old age look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles, grace
and vigor depart, There is now
a stone where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass a
young girl still dwells,
And now and again my battered
heart swells.
I remember the joys, I remember
the pain, And I'm loving and living
life over again. I think of the years...
all too few, gone too fast, And accept
the stark fact that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, people,
open and see, Not a crabby old woman;
look closer...see ME!!

Remember this poem when
you next meet an old person
who you might brush aside without
looking at the young soul within...
we will one day be there, too!



maureen said...


PinkAcorn said...

I'm making a copy and taking it to work. I work in an ICU unit. It is very touching poem.

Dogwalkmusings said...

I love that poem. It helped me to understand my Mom when she was in her 90s and so angry about the toll age had taken.

Toni said...

Oh, Cis, this is so touching!!! So true!!

jb3ll3 said...

Somebody gave me that poem when my mother was on her way out of this world; I think it is so touching. It means a great deal to me. Funny, I don't think it's an accident that it's special to you, too. xo