After an old man passed away in hospital, the nurses foundВ this unpublished poemВ that touches their hearts so deeply.
Here is the poem:
What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when youвЂ™re looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . вЂ¦ . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .вЂ™I do wish youвЂ™d try!вЂ™
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . вЂ¦ lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what youвЂ™re thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .youвЂ™re not looking at me.
IвЂ™ll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
IвЂ™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 heвЂ™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 donвЂ™t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. вЂ¦Babies play вЂ™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 вЂ¦ . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that IвЂ™ve known.
IвЂ™m now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
ItвЂ™s jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, 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 IвЂ™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 .. .. . .. вЂ¦. . ME!!