They can take my meal away before I'm done
They can talk to me like I'm dumb
They can refer to me as a "Feeder"
Fluff me up to make me look neater
They talk about me like I'm not Here
They address me as "honey" "cutie and "dear".
But there are things they can't do to me
As they insult my dignity
Oh there are things they can't do to me
They can't take away my memories
My Roles through this life cement my presence
With withered mind they call senescence
I am rich in culture, wisdom and knowledge
That medical people can't learn in college
I am a mother, a sister, a historian, a wife
I have mastered many roles throughout my life
I created warm meals in my day
I wiped my children's tears away
I cared for a close knit family
Who look up to and value me
And now I master another role
Dependent patient with golden soul
If just one of "them" would sit with me
I'd share with them this history
And if one would stay awhile
I'd teach them that I'm still God's child.
They are so busy this I know
I have aged and have gotten slow
This I must share in written word
I may not be seen but I will be heard
They say I'm anxious, noisy and loud
This life has taught me not to be too proud
I am too many things to capture in a letter
I am so much more than the lady in the pink sweater
If you've listened from the start
I may help you find your heart.
By Dawn Maselli
It says twenty-nine people have read this poem - I can't believe that nobody has commented on it.
It really affected me and I feel the pain. It also reminded me of a poem called Crabbit Old Woman (google it) which has a similar theme.
Thanks Kyloe, I hope you will write more.
Possibly Lin for the same reason I would not presume to comment upon a Shakespeare sonnet?
Well I have revisited and read it at least Four times.Especially poignant,as my Mother is in a care home suffering from Alzheimers and my Father is ill and lonely at home.It really is a touching piece.Thank you for sharing it.
Heart breaking situation for you Titan, as if life is'nt hard enough.
Lets hope things improve and some quality of life returns for them and you.
I'm not sure what your comment above means - did I spoil something? If I did, I am sorry.
I hope Radar 47 doesn't mind me copying, but she has written the following proverb on another thread. Perhaps it should be my motto from now on. I think this is a great saying...
'Don't speak unless you can improve on the silence'
Dear Lin, You did not spoil anything - you never do. One of the reasons that I keep returning to this corner is to see if you have written anything!
I apologise for my obtuse comment. I think that I meant that some things are so well written, so poignant that any comment I might make would be superfluous. And so it was proved!
I too very much like Radar47's quote, and have made a late new year resolution to abide by it. My O/H lives in hopes!
An Old Lady's Poem.
What do you see, nurses, what do you see?
What are you thinking when you're looking at me?
A crabby old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles her 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 missing a stocking 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 girl of sixteen, with wings on her feet,
Dreaming that soon now a lover she'll meet.
A bride 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 woman 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 man'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 husband is 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 woman ... 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 girl 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, nurses, open and see,
Not a crabby old woman; look closer ... see ME!!
Hi Kyloe - did you google it?
I have just come back after visiting my cousin in West Yorkshire. We went to visit our one remaining Auntie who now lives in a Care home.
I look into the mirror and who do I see?
Is that Auntie Clara looking back at me?
But she is ninety-two and I am fifty-three,
I think there must be some discrepancy!
The above was read-out by Pam Ayres on ‘The One Show’ after I had won a competition for a four–line verse.
We searched but couldn’t find her when we first went through the door,
But then I saw her coming, heard soft footsteps on the floor.
I looked in recognition, I looked and looked again,
Could this be the same auntie I resembled way back then?
We sat in family companionship, my cousin, Aunt and me,
But my tears just had to flow, though tried not to let them see.
How could she be so altered? But how could she stay the same?
Busy carers buzzed around but could not pronounce her name.
We sat together and talked, through a veil of tears I saw,
That same beloved auntie, but forty years before,
Marching up the garden, counting up each hen,
Collecting windfall apples before ‘chutneyfying’ them!
Oh! I know that life moves on, I know that we all change,
It’s just that getting older, is now within my range!
My aunt is ninety seven years as I near fifty eight,
Someone out there is calling, I hope that they can wait!
We searched and couldn’t find her, when we first went through the door,
Until I heard soft footsteps and saw her smile at me once more.
Kyloe and Lin,
What a marvellous exchange,loved them.Lin,sometimes lines crop up that delight the senses."Collecting windfall Apples before "Chutneyfying"them !Absolutely love that.Is Chutneyfying an actual word.It doesen,t matter,the image is there in the mind.The word Chutney expanded upon,brilliant!!
Love visiting this corner of the forum.
Linn, I was'nt sure that was the one you meant, but i liked the verse so posted anyway
Titan ...your smile at "chutneyfying" has induced the following ....
Smiling is Infectious
Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner
and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized
I'd passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile,
then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin,
don't leave it undetected.
Let's start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected!
Kyloe & Lin please, please keep on posting i love reading your poems.
Last night i sat with my mum in-law showing her the forum and we came upon `the cute lady in the pink sweater,` we sat in silence albeit through a veil of tears) no words needed to be spoken. We both knew what each other was thinking! I feel i`ts cemented our relationship even further (although it was always set in stone)keep on postng,
I look forward to reading more,
please excuse the mistakes my typing is really bad today!
Of course, there's always an alternative to wearing pink:
Warning - When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple
By Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple
with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired
and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
and run my stick along the public railings
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick the flowers in other people's gardens
and learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat three pounds of sausages at a go
or only bread and pickles for a week
and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
and pay our rent and not swear in the street
and set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
Just a Wonder
A row of bottles on my shelf
Caused me to analyze myself.
One yellow pill I have to pop
Goes to my heart so it won't stop.
A little white one that I take
Goes to my hands so they won't shake.
The blue ones that I use a lot
Tell me I'm happy when I'm not.
The purple pill goes to my brain
And tells me that I have no pain.
The capsules tell me not to wheeze
Or cough or choke or even sneeze.
The red ones, smallest of them all
Go to my blood so I won't fall.
The orange ones, very big and bright
Prevent my leg cramps in the night.
Such an array of brilliant pills
Helping to cure all kinds of ills.
But what I'd really like to know . . .
Is what tells each one where to go!
I love that poem.
Here is my version of it - written about four years ago.
Not Quite Ready to Wear Purple
I think this must be called
A half- life,
And only those of you who are there now,
Or have passed this stage, will understand.
Basically you are finished.
Or it seems that way.
Now it is more
At work you have become that old fuddy-duddy in the corner
Who lives in the past and thinks she has all the answers.
Let me tell you,
You young flibberty-jibbet,
But not to this,
This half life.
Is it just another stage
Will it pass, like all the rest?
I didn’t notice them
This one lingers.
It gnaws, it defeats your confidence.
You long to be who you were
But your clearest vision is down the long road
To what you will become
A Little Mixed Up
Just a line to say to say I'm living,
that I'm not among the dead
Though I'm getting more forgetful,
and mixed up in my head;
I've got used to my arthritis,
To my dentures I'm resigned.
I can manage my bifocals,
But, Oh God, I miss my mind.
For sometimes I don't remember,
At the bottom of the stairs
If I was going up for something,
or if I just came down from there.
And before the fridge so often,
my poor mind is filled with doubt--
Have I put the food away . . .
Or come to take some out?
There are times when it is dark
And my nightcap's on my head
I don't know if I'm retiring,
or just getting out of bed;
So if it's my turn to write you,
There's no need in getting sore,
I may think that I have written
And I don't want to be a bore.
Please remember that I love you,
And I wish that you were here;
But now it's nearly mail time,
So I must say goodbye, my dear.
Now here I stand beside the mailbox,
With my face so very red,
Instead of mailing you my letter,
I have opened it instead!
I love that poem too, Lin. In fact, I love this whole corner and never fail to stop by to read everything. I might not have the talent to contribute myself but I'm ever grateful to all the people on here who lift our spirits and keep Poets' Corner alive.
"Do not go gentle into that good night ..."
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
I can rage for England, what about you, Lily?
Lovely to see your post and your kind words.
Yes Lin, I can rage for England too. Oh yes.