Monday, September 26, 2011

Look At Me

Here is a gift, given to me by Jon, one of the readers of Mind Deep, who got it from another blogger. This is a gift that is meant to be shared:

(Kate the writer of this poem, was unable to speak but occasionally seen to write. After her death, her hospital locker was emptied and this poem was found.)

What do you see nurses what do you see?
Are you thinking when you are looking at me... A crabby old women not very wise,

Uncertain of habit with far away 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 losing a stocking or shoe. 

Who unresisting or not let's you do as you will, with bathing or feeding a 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 use at your bidding and 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 promise to keep.

At twenty five now I have young of my own, who need me to build a secure happy home. A young women of thirty my young now grow fast bound to each other with ties that should last. At forty my young ones now grown, will soon be gone but my man stands 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 busy rearing young of their own and I think of the years and the love I have known.

I'm an old women now and nature is cruel, 'I' is her jest to make old age look like a fool. The body it crumbles, grace and vigour depart. There now is a stone where once I had a heart. But inside this old carcase a young girl still dwells and now and again my battered heart swells. 

I remember the joys, I remember the pain and I'm moving 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 crabbit old women, look closer- see ME.



  1. A great reminder! Thanks for posting this.

  2. Wow is right! This kind of hit me at the core. The fear I have (and I suppose most of us have) of getting older. I think it's the apprehension and anxiety associated with the health, how my body will lose its vitality. It's also a reminder to look a bit deeper than the surface and our initial impressions of someone and to notice how much emphasis we place on the material aspect of life. Most clearly it's a reminder of impermanence and how I should incorporate this into my contemplation practice.

  3. There are no words that describe the beauty of hits me at the core as well, and urges me on so many levels to wake up! Thank you for posting this.

  4. Peter, Adam, yes, and why I am so grateful to be working with elders and also the ones at the end of their lives.

    Because the mind forgets . . .

  5. Nate, I know fear has been one of your main objects of contemplation. It has been for me also. I have found fear to take me down the deeper layers of clinging. First aversion of what is feared, then clinging to the opposite of what is disliked and therefore feared. The clinging is to the body, the mind itself, the idea of a solid 'I'. This is what I am finding . . .

  6. James, I am glad this has touched you and brought you joy.