Unfortunately, the author of this touching poem is not known, but the “post” on FB came in via Max “The Body” Philisaire, and my youngest son, Warren, and, if this isn’t “OLD AGE PERSONIFIED” I would not honestly know, what IS!!. Because we Do have many elderly blokes who are members of eLanka, yet, not on Facebook, I have decided that this would be a most interesting & “moving” bit of reading for themselves and their families to read, given what seems to also be “going on” in some Nursing Homes and Special Accommodation Homes, right now.

     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.
It’s quality and “content” so impressed the Staff, copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.
     One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas Editions of magazines around the Country, also appearing in magazines for Mental Health. A “slide-presentation” has also been made, based on his simple, but eloquent poem.

     This old man, with nothing left to give the World, is now the author of this “anonymous” poem, winging it’s way across the Internet. Because I do not know the author, and as, quite possibly, he has already passed on, (as stated), I have edited this magnificent poem, where absolutely necessary. R.I.P.(just in case), & hoping you will not mind, Sir. I am not too happy with the title, but I won’t take that away from you, because, if I do, you might turn out to be just that.!!

                           “CRANKY OLD MAN”.

“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 not seems to notice, the things that you do,
and, forever is losing a sock, or a shoe? ,
who, resisting, or not, let’s 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,
to just do your bidding, and eat, at your will,

I’m a small child of 10, with a father and mother,
& brothers and sisters, who love one another,
a young boy of 16, with wings on his feet,
dreaming that, soon now, a lover, he’ll meet,
a bridegroom, soon, at 20, my heart gives a leap,
remembering the vows, that I promised to keep,
at 25, now, I have “young ones”  of my own,
who need me to guide them, in a safe, secure home,
a man, now of 30, my family have grown fast,
bonded together, in “ties” that should last,
at 40, my young sons, are “grown-up and gone”,
but, my woman’s beside me, to see I don’t mourn,
at 50, once more, babes play on my knee,
these are grand-children, for my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my wife is now dead,
I look at the future, and shudder with dread,
for my young are now rearing young ones of their own,
and I think of the years, and the love I have known.

I’m just an old man now, and nature is cruel,
it’s sad to make “old-age”, and look like a fool,
the body, it crumbles, grace and vigor depart,
there now lies 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 joy, 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, folks, just open, and see,
not a cranky old man, look closer, see ME”!!.

Desmond Kelly

Desmond Kelly
(Editor-in-Chief)  eLanka.

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