Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Crabby Old Woman

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 losing
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, people,
Open and see,
Not a crabby old woman;
Look closer . . . see ME!!

This poem was sent to me via email, entitled anonymous. The background story, is an old scottish woman, who has died in a nursing home, with nothing left to give to the world, but in her hand was found a poem. It irritated me that it was remembered for the story, and yet they could not be bothered to remember the women who wrote it.
That seems to be a reflection however, of the world we live in...
Perhaps that is why one awakens, to find they have forgotten their names.
Ahhh, how very reflective.
The scariest part of this poem however,
When I look at it, is how much I relate to it.
It was one of those OMG it's me poems.
Then it occured to me it was written by an ancient and long dead scottswoman (for the record, I am one of those, well.....once again, a half-breed anyway....lmao)
Except for one tiny fact of course.
I am not quite so ancient and dead, at least not during the course and progression of this particular lifetime anyway.

Ofcourse, as this wise and enlightening scottwoman points out...our years, within a lifespan, are all too few and short. I shall blink, and I shall be old, one day. My children grown, and moved on in their lives, my husband...perhaps not dead, but in all probability, consumed by some desire or another, that exists "outside of his life from me"

As I am also somewhat of a recluse, with a bad habit of loosing loved ones phone numbers, I shall be alone, bitter, and old. Unable to do anything about my life or the situations in it.

Just as I am about to allow this to depress me somewhat, it occurs....I do not think I know how to be anything but. From birth I felt alone, cold, bitter, and old. As if I was on a roller coaster from hell, and unable to get off of it.
With crazy and psychotic phantoms roaming through my head.
I have gone through various stages of development with this, birth mentality.
At times I am angry,
Others sad or depressed.
Sometimes I am overwhelmed by this life, or by others intruding upon it.
At times, thankfully, I am just empty, which to me, is somewhat akin to bliss.

I have learned to deal with it, and regretfully, the hollow emptiness, or even tinges of physical pain, that I have learned to associate with incarnation upon this planet, has become so familiar, that there are times, when I wrap myself in it, like a thick blanket. Finding comfort and security, in the one thing that has remained consistent with my childhood.

This had just become my way. And I accepted this fate, with grace, eventually, coming to see it as natural, normal, and an inconsequential piece of my environment.

Then I read this poetry.
And as I realized how well I related it to it, I also realized that it was causing me to review my own memories, and history.
I differ from this woman quite a bit.
For my own review, I can see broken dreams, and promises.
Illusions cut down in youth, before they were ever given a chance to bloom
The realization, at a young age, of being a dissappointment, and letting everybody down.
The inability, to ever, even once, reach out and grasp at my abilities, over and above anothers vision for me, and that to try, meant to be cut down.
Mostly my dreams tho
In my youth.

When I was nine, my world changed, and people's real faces shone out.
By sixteen, I quite dreaming, all together...
Long ago, and far away from here, I had given up.
I had given up on the human dream.

To think of my child hood now, hurts me so deeply, I'd rather just not go there.
Not because of how dramatic and bad it was...
But because once upon a time, that woman's life was real to me.
I could taste it all around.
Once upon a time, I dreamed her dreams.
I felt secure, and loved, and nestled, in a safe little hole, where I was free, free to be me.

Some very dear friends, and I am sure a great deal many more then care to admit it,
look at me, and shake their heads, wondering why I stay here, wondering why I live the life I do.
Wondering why I choose to accept the realationship that I do.

I do not believe in the dream.

It would not matter where I went or who I was with. So long as I have no faith in it, so long as I do not believe in it, it will always be the same.
I have never tasted it, never been given any chance to experience wether it was real or not. And the few, precious occasions, when I did reach my hands out, believing, wanting, willing to risk it all, I fell. I lost all. I landed my ass down so hard smack dab in reality, that it wasn't ever once worth the fall.

Except for one thing. The most important thing of all.
That is my children. And my cat.
These beloved little angels have never let me down, and even at the worst of times, and in their worst behaviour, they remind me how important dreams really are.
If I have none of my own to cling too, then there's are worth it all.
And already, too many beautiful, young and innocent dreams of their own have been broken.
And already, too much of my life has been spent towards doing everything to give them a life, different from my own...
And already, in too many little ways, I have even managed to fuck that all up.
Yet still, I carry on, each day, bearing a sheild, of four little smiles, and one loyal pet.
A love, so unconditional, that it matters not how many times I fuck up, nor how many times that I fail, it is always there to shine me forward looking, in complete innocence, waiting, expecting, knowing I will just give it one more try.
Dear God, if there is nothing else I can make of my life then that, I beg of you, let my children always remember a mother who tried.
For that, if nothing else, is a gift more beautiful, and more important in this world then all.
With that one gift, no matter what happens, no matter what misfortune life brings their way, I will always know they will always try, they will always survive.
My strength, and endurance for life, is a gift I hope each one embraces, and takes, to make more, more then this life of mine, this focus each day, just to make it out alive, and together, just one more time, just one more moment to survive.


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