Wednesday 18 March 2015

Old Lady's Poem

These past three years I have come into contact with many more third age ladies and gentlemen for whom I housesparkle. As I get to know them and hear their stories, I am inspired for they have done and seen much and continue to lead full and varied lives. It has saddened me greatly both times illness has taken them and I miss them. This poem was found amongst the few belongings of an elderly lady who died on a geriatric ward in Dundee.

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 a shoe...
Who resisting or not lets you do as you will
With bathing and feeding, a long day to fill...
Is that what you're thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes nurse, you're 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 home.
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 gone
But my man's beside me to see that I don't mourn.
At fifty once more, babies play round my knee
Again we know children, my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me, my loved one is dead
I look at the future, I shudder with dread.
For my young are all raising young of their own
And I think of the years and the love that I've known.

I'm an old woman now....and nature is cruel
'Tis jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body it crumbles, grace and vigour depart
There is now a stone where I once had a heart.
But inside this 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 nurses, open and see
Not a crabby old woman...look closer see ME!


Copies were made and given to every nurse in the hospital.


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