I don't quite feel this old
Crabby Old Man
When an old Man died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near
Dundee, Scotland, it was believed that he had nothing left of any 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 Ireland. The old lady'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 his simple, but eloquent, poem. And this little old Scottish man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this
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
tie 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'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 she 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 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. But inside this old carcass A young boy
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 man;
Look closer . . . see ME!! Remember this when you next meet an elderly
person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within . .. If we live long enough we will all be there someday.