Monday Musings for 7.27.20
Sometimes people die without family and without money. Such was the case in a small town Australian nursing home. As the attendants were going through the personal effects, they found nothing of value. Then they noticed a piece of paper among the items tossed in a garbage can. One them retrieved it and discovered this poem:
What do you see nurses? What do you see? What are you thinking when you’re 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 a shoe?
Who, resisting or not, lets you do what 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 secure a good 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 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 beside 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 vigor 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.
PS Last week, about half of my “Monday Musings” were returned to me, unsent. I don’t know why. If you would like what I sent on Monday, July 20, just reply to this, and I will be happy to send it again. At least I will try.