THIS IS NOT MY POEM. But I found it moving so I thought I would share. Right now I am doing a course in aged care nursing at a local University (TAFE) and today in class the teacher brought in a poem written by a dementia Patient, This author remains anonymous, all we know is they were a Scottish woman, who died in the geriatric ward off Ashludie hospital near Dundee Scotland, this poem was found amongst her possessions, And it was so impressive, that copies off the poem were made and handed out to the nurses in the hospital. Though it was addressed to the nurses who surrounded her in her last days, it cries for recognition of common humanity.You can join Unsolved Mysteries and post your own mysteries or
My Teacher thought this would be a good poem to share considering we just got back from work experience in nursing homes in our areas. And we all shared stories off dementia clients, and bad tempered nurses it just made us all emotional I must say. This woman could not communicate except through this poem, and this poem will surprise you...
What do you see Nurses, What do you see?
What 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,
Who when you say in a loud voice, I do wish you’d try,
Who seems not to notice the things that you do
And is forever losing a stocking or shoe.
Who is unresisting or not, lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding the day long to fill
Is that what you were 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 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 a lover she’ll meet.
A bride now twenty, my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows 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 off thirty, my young grow fast
Bound to each other with ties that should last.
At forty my young ones have grown and have gone,
But my man’s beside me to see I don’t moan
At fifty once more babies play around 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
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 it crumples, grace and vigour depart;
There is now a stone where once I had a heart.
But inside this carcass, a young girl still dwells
And now and again my battered heart swells
I remember the joys, I remember the pains
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 nurse, open and see,
Not a crabby old woman. Look closer, see ME.
Author - Anonymous Dementia Patient
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