Cranky Old Man

Below is the poem written by an old man who died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town. Nurses found his poem when going through his meagre possessions. Content in the poem is so impressive and inspirational so thought of sharing it here on my blog. Happy Reading!

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 10 with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters who love one another
A young boy of 16 with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now…a lover he’ll meet.
A groom 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 guide and a secure happy home.
A man of 30…My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other; with ties that should last.
At 40, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me to see I don’t mourn.
At 50, 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 carcass. 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!!

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