When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a small
Tampa , Florida , it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses wer e going through his meager
they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff
copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.
One nurse took her copy to Missouri . The old man's
sole bequest to
posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News
Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health. A slide
presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent,
And this little old man, with nothing left to give to
the world, is
now the author of this "anonymous" poem winging across the
Crabby Old Man
What do you see nurses? .......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
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.
Remember this poem when you next meet an older person
might brush aside without looking at the young soul within.....we will
one day, be there, too!