The Elderly-What do you see?

  1. What do you see?
    "What do you, nurses, what do you see?
    What are you thinking when 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.

    Is that what you're thinking?
    Is that what you see?
    Then, open your eyes . . .
    you're not looking at me.

    I'll tell you who I am, as I sit here so still,
    as I do your bidding, as I eat (at) your will.
    I'm a small child of 10 with a father and mother,
    brothers and sisters who love one another.

    A young girl of 16 with wings on her feet,
    dreaming that soon now a lover she'll meet.
    A bird soon at 20, my heart gives a leap,
    remembering the vows (that) I promised to keep.

    At 25 now, I have young of my own,
    who need me to build a secure, happy home.
    A woman of 30, my young . . . grows fast,
    bound to each other with ties that should last.

    At 40, my young sons have grown and are gone,
    but my man's beside me to see I don't mourn.
    At 50, 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 to the future, I shudder with dread.
    For my young are all rearing (the) young of their own,
    and I think of the years and the love I have known.

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

    But inside this old carcass, a young girl still dwells,
    and now and again, my heart (truly) swells.
    I remember the joy, 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, and see . . .
    Not a crabby old woman, look closer, see me."

    -Author Unknown-or-Is She-
  2. Visit betts profile page

    About betts

    Joined: Oct '01; Posts: 1,024; Likes: 20
    Nursing Mgmt.


  3. by   nur20
    It's amazing how life works !!!!!!! I have been looking for this poem for years. No one seemed to know what i was talking about, since the author is unknown. I last saw it in nursing school and was so sorry that i didn't save it, and here it falls in my lap !!!!!!!!!!! Thanks, BETTS
  4. by   GPatty
    I LOVE the elderly... and that's EXACTLY what I see....