What Do You See? Beautiful Poem On Aging

what do you seeWhat Do You See?

A Beautiful Poem On Aging

 

I read a beautiful poem on aging recently, posted on the Internet as coming from an old man in Australia who died in a nursing home with nothing to his name but this poem in his pocket.

It’s a beautiful poem and VERY appropriate to the Men After Fifty blogsite.  HOWEVER, it has also been attributed to a “crabby old man” in Florida as well as a “crabby woman” and a host of others.  It is yet another urban legend.

Since I’d like to give credit where credit is due, I did a little Internet research and discovered that it was written quite some time ago by a disabled veteran named Dave Griffith who writes a LOT of poetry and titled, “Too Old Soon”.  You can enjoy his work at his website.

Let me know what feelings and thoughts are inspired by the poem below:

 

What do you see my friends, 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, my friends . .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!!

 

I hope it touches you, it certainly touched me.

Adam Sheck

FYI, the picture on this post is MY grandfather, Izzy Miskoff.

Comments

  1. Jackie Woodie says

    You must be very proud of your grandfather and I’m sorry for your loss. He’s poem specks for all aging people everywhere.

    • Thanks so much, Jackie, though he didn’t write the poem. The poem did inspire me to remember him though.
      Adam

  2. Genius, what a moving piece of work and so much better withe punctuation they way it was …..

    I was reading your website as I thought of creating an over 50 blog myself, but looks like you have it covered sir, great site by the way.

    Thanks

    Barry

    • Barry,
      You are always welcome to submit a guest blog piece on what it means to you to be a man after fifty. We’re all in this together.
      Take care,
      Adam

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