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Monday Meeting — That Cranky Old Man

When an old man died in a nursing home, nurses found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed them, it was spread throughout the nursing home and afar. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in magazines for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his poem. And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.

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Cranky Old Man

What do you see nurses?
What do you see?
What are you thinking…
When you are 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, resting or not…
Let’s you do as you will,
While 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 all your bidding,
As I eat 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 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 will last.

At forty, my young sons…
Have grown and are gone,
But my woman is 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 to 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!

cranky old man I

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Source: Good Time Stories
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22 thoughts on “Monday Meeting — That Cranky Old Man

  1. Oh wow, I see time passing, the crankiness around the corner… What an incredible little gem. Thank you, Theresa!

  2. I read this a while ago Theresa and it still brings a tear to my eyes. A sad fact of life that we become a hindrance for others.

  3. Time does fly by so quickly and in the rush of today’s world, it’s easy to lose patience and forget that we’ll all eventually be there. This brought a lump to my throat, too….

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