Recently, I came across this poem and it touched me deeply. Although it’s sad, there’s a very meaningful message so I thought I’d share it here today . . .
When an old lady died in a small hospital near Dundee, Scotland, it was felt that she had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through her meager possessions, they found this poem.
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 two —
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 a lover she’ll meet.
A bride then at twenty — my heart gives a leap,
Remembering vows I promised to keep.
At twenty-five next, I have young of my own,
Who need me to guide their secure happy home.
A woman of forty, my young sons all grown,
But my man is beside me to see I don’t mourn.
At fifty, once more, babies play ’round my knee,
Again we know children, my loved one and me.
For my young ones are rearing young of their own,
I think of the years and the love that I’ve known.
Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead:
I look at the future, I shudder with dread.
I’m now an old woman — and nature is cruel;
‘Tis 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!!!