I found this poem among all of the things that I rummage through on a daily basis. I do not know who wrote it but I will tell you this about this poem, it hit me right where it hurts, in my heart. I am 80 years old and a great grandfather. My wife is 80 years old also, and she is slowly losing her battle with Alzheimer's disease.
I can relate to this old man. I can feel his frustration. I can put myself in his place.
You put yourself in this man's place when you read his poem, (The older you are, the more you can relate)!
The photos that I used are me at 20, (fresh out of boot camp) and at 80, attempting my 1st & last beard
When an old man died in the geniatric ward of a nursing home in North Platte,
Nebraska, it was believed that he had nothing of value. Later, when the nurses
were going through his 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 Missouri.
The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas
edition of the News Magazine of the St, Louis Association for Mental Health.
A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent,
poem. And this little old man, 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.
“Crabby old Man”
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 a 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 growing fast,
Bound to each other…..With ties that should last.
At forty, my young sons…..have grown and are gone,
But my women’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.
I remember the joys…..I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living…..life all 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!