by Dave Griffith
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 .
At Forty, my young sons .. . . Have grown and are gone,
But my woman’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 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 .
Tis 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 guy 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 crabby old man . . . . . .Look closer see ME!!
2 thoughts on “Too Soon Old”
The “Golden Age” is tarnished, The spirit is strong but. . . if only it was not so hard to grow old. nicely put.
Thank you Anne. I hope this poem helps families remember their senior loved ones as we prepare for Valentine’s Day.