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Apr 26, 2006
CRABBY OLD LADY


When an old lady died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital
near
Dundee, Scotland, it was believed that shehad nothing left of any
value.
Later, when the nurses were going through her 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 Ireland.
The oldlady's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas
edition of the News Magazine of the North Ireland Association for Mental
Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on her simple,
but eloquent, poem. And this little old Scottish lady, with nothing left togive to
the world, is now the author of this "anonymous" poem winging aroundthe
world.


"Crabby Old Woman."

What do you see, nurses?
What do you see?
What are you thinking
When you're 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?

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 girl of sixteen
With wings on her feet
Dreaming that soon now
A lover she'll meet.

A bride 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 woman 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 man'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 husband is 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 woman
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 girl 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 woman;
Look closer . . . see ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an old person who you
might brush
aside without looking at the young soul within . . we will all, one day, be there, too!
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Posted: Apr 26, 2006 5:36am

 

 
 
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Author

Martha Inglis
, 1, 4 children
Guelph, ON, Canada
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