This isn’t original to me, but very much how I feel sometimes.
What do you see nurses? . . . .. . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . . . . when you’re looking at me?
A crabby old man . … . .. . not very wise, Uncertain of habit . .. . . . with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his 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 sock 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 boy of Sixteen . . . . with wings on his feet.
Dreaming that soon now . . . . . a lover he’ll meet.
A groom 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 man 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 woman’s 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 wife is now dead.
I look at the future .. . . . . 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 known.
I’m now an old man . .. . . .. 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 guy 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 man .. .. . Look closer . . . see ME!!