When an old woman died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that she had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through her meager possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old woman’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem. And this old woman, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet. Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too! PLEASE SHARE THIS POEM (originally written by Dave Griffith and adapted here to honour my 96 year old aunt) remembering the best and most beautiful things of this world can’t be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart!
Cranky Old Woman
What do you see nurses?
What do you see?
What are you thinking, when you’re looking at me?
A cranky 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 just try!’
Who seems not to notice the things that you do.
And forever is losing a sock or 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 not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am, as I sit here so still,
As I do what you bid, 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 will last.
At Forty, my young daughters have grown and are gone,
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.
Dark days are upon me, my husband is now dead.
I look to dark future, I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing, young of their own.
And I think of the years, the love that I’ve known.
I’m now an old woman, and nature is cruel.
It’s a jest to make old age, to look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles, grace and vigor long gone.
There is now only a stone, where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass, a young woman 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 cranky old woman.
Look closer, see ME!!