Thursday, 20 October 2011

Tribute to an old man - poem by Anon.

Tell Me a Story - Tribute

This is a copy of an email sent to me by Jack Chambers. I thought it very poignant.
When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value

Later, when the nurses were going through his meagre 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 Microsoft in Melbourne, and the old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem

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

Old Man

What do you see nurses?  What do you see?
What are you thinking when looking at me?
A cranky 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

At Forty, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my woman is 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 is now 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
It'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 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 cranky old man Look closer see  ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might pass by without looking at the young soul within
we will all, one day, be there, too!