Friday, 12 August 2011

It's Not Me!

I just had to share this beautiful poem with you that I recieved in my email box. You'll need a tissuse!


When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in country NSW, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through his meagre 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 man's sole bequest to posterity as 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 man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

Cranky Old Man

What do you see, nurses?.What do you see?
What are you thinking when you're looking at me?
A cranky 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 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 wife is now dead.
I look at the future, I 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.
It's 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 carcase a young man 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 man look closer, see ME!!

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!


Janice Horton said...

Sniffle...sniffle - that is so lovely...and thank you for sharing, Pauline. x

Debs Carr said...

Sigh. What a beautifully written poem. I remember when I was younger and a friend at work asked me if I wanted to read her grandmother's life story tha the family had published as a gift to her. I couldn't believe it when I read that she' worked on Spitfires in the war and now always wonder about the things the elderly may have done in the past.

Rosalind Adam said...

As you know, Pauline, I spent months fighting the local NHS to get them to accept that the frail in hospital need more care and attention. This is a very moving poem. I might just send it to the Ward that my mother was in before she died.

There's an award waiting for you at my blog.

Michael Offutt said...

It's amazing how poetry can touch us. I'd actually come across this internet poem before but didn't know any of the background. How lovely. I see old men all the time and am able to look past what's on the outside to the inside. The kind of person they are does shine through. You just have to be patient and look for it.

andewallscametumblindown said...

That is a beautiful poem. After my mother died this year, my brother and I went through the photos and saw snippets of her life - some with us and some from before we were born. They're much more interesting then her final years. ~Miriam

Pauline Barclay said...

Hello Janice, it does make you sniff!

Hi Debs, what a wonderrful gift your friends made. And I remember my nana being old, but she was a formidable woman almost to the end and she was 92 when she left us.

Hello Ros, I hope you send the poem to the hospital, hopefully it will make them think!!
I'm away now to collect my award...whow!

Hi Michael, thanks for stopping by, and yes, I beleive the poem has been around for some time, but wanted to share it.

Hello Miriam, thanks for calling and leaving a message, sorry to hear about your mum. Cherish your memories.