Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Scottish Lady's Poem

This poem was written by an eldery Scottish woman in a geriatric hospital near Dundee, Scotland. It was later published in a Northern Ireland Mental Health News Magazine.

What do you see,nurses,
what do you see?
What are you thinking
when you look 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 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 love 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 youngest now grown fast,
Bound to each other with
ties that should last.

At forty, my young sons
have grown and are gone.
But my husband'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 once I 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,
nurses,open and see,
Not a crabby old woman;
look closer--see ME!