Sad poem

queenfan Member Posts: 652
edited 28. Jul 2010, 18:15 in Community Chit-chat archive
My Daughter is training to be a nurse, & while she was at uni the other day, they were shown a video, & given this poem which had many of them including myself in tears :cry:

This is a poem that an elderly lady wrote, whilst in a nursing home, shortly before she died.

See Me

What do you see, nurses, what do you see?
Are you thinking, when you look at me --
A crabby old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with far-away 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 unresisting 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 rise 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 girl of sixteen with wings on her feet.
Dreaming that soon now a lover 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 build a secure, happy home;
A woman of thirty, my young now grow fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last;
At forty, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my man'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 an old woman now and nature is cruel --
'Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body is crumbled, grace and vigour 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, nurses -- see ME!

Sue xx


  • trisher
    trisher Member Posts: 9,727
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    What a sad poem had me in tears.

  • skezier
    skezier Member Posts: 12,150
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sue,

    Hope your doing ok?

    I think this one should be on display in all wards, departments and homes actually....... you can really understand the feeling behind it can't you? Hope alls ok with your daughters course and I must send you some up date pics :wink: Love and a ((( ))) cris xx
  • suncatcher
    suncatcher Member Posts: 2,174
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    They have this poem in the waiting at the hospital. I always read it thanks for posting it on here i love it. :D
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It's so easy to forget that the old were once young, and that we, in our turn, will become old. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,740
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Quenfan :(

    First time i read this peom was over 20 yaers ago...

    it still affects me today :(

    Thanks for posting it - good idea.


    Toni xx

    Toni xxx
  • queenfan
    queenfan Member Posts: 652
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all, Yes it really does make you think,
    It had me in tears, because it made me think of just before my mother died, we saw so many things I didn't want to see, how the elderly were treated, it really frightened me into thinking I hope I am never in that position, my mom was a strong lady & knew her own mind she told us how she & others on the ward were being treated, but would not let us complain, because she was frightened,
    It didn't stop us though, & told mom that if they were nasty to her after we left I had there names and would report them,
    sadly she had a bad fall, was left there on her own shouting for help,
    we were not told until the following morning.
    this is a long story so I will just say when they found her they walked her back to her bed with what we now know was a broken hip & died Severn days later.
    I hope you are all keeping well
    Sue xx
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,408
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    When this was first published the nurses wrote this reply:

    Author Unknown

    What do we see, you ask, what do we see?
    Yes, we are thinking when looking at thee!
    We may seem to be hard when we hurry and fuss,
    But there's many of you, and too few of us.

    We would like far more time to sit by you and talk,
    To bath you and feed you and help you to walk.
    To hear of your lives and the things you have done;
    Your childhood, your husband, your daughter, and your son.
    But time is against us, there's too much to do -
    Patients too many, and nurses too few.

    We grieve when we see you so sad and alone,
    With nobody near you, no friends of your own.
    We feel all your pain, and know of your fear
    That nobody cares now your end is so near.

    But nurses are people with feelings as well,
    And when we're together you'll often hear tell
    Of the dearest old Gran in the very end bed,
    And the lovely old Dad, and the things that he said,
    We speak with compassion and love, and feel sad
    When we think of your lives and the joy that you've had.

    When the time has arrived for you to depart,
    You leave us behind with an ache in our heart.
    When you sleep the long sleep, no more worry or care,
    There are other old people, and we must be there.
    So please understand if we hurry and fuss -
    There are many of you, and too few of us.

    Luv Legs :|
    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'