As We Age

I received everything below in an email, and did not write any of it, but felt the need to share this touching poem.

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in North
Platte, Nebraska, 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 Missouri.

The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the
Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for
Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his
simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now
the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.

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 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 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. Read More

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