This Beautiful Poem Muses On What It Means To Grow Old

Aging is a huge part of what it means to be human. Every person knows that, with luck, we all eventually grow old.

However, considering how key aging is to the human condition, we don’t always treat the elderly with the respect they deserve.

Now, a touching poem has resurfaced that shines a light on what it means to age, from the perspective of someone who has seen and done, well, just about everything — not unlike the beautiful meditation on aging written by Wanda B. Goines.

Sometimes called Look Closer, this touching narrative has been attributed to various sources — but the poem is almost certainly an adaptation of a piece written by Scottish nurse Phyllis McCormack in the late 1960s.

However, these days, the viral poem is most often attributed to an elderly man living in a nursing home, who passes away and leaves a note behind to his caregivers.

It touches on what it really means to be elderly, and what really matters most to people once they reach their golden years: simply being seen and recognized and remembered.

For those of us with elderly loved ones, this lovely verse is a beautiful reminder to cherish and appreciate every moment with them.

“Look Closer” — Author Unknown

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“What do you see nurses?… What do you see?
What are you thinking… When you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man… Not very wise,
Uncertain of habit… With faraway eyes?”

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“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?”

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“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.”

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“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 10… With a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters… Who love one another.”

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“A young boy of 16… With wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now… A lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at 20… My heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows… That I promised to keep.”

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“At 25, now… I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide… And a secure happy home.
A man of 30… My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other… With ties that should last.”

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“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 10… With a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters… Who love one another.”

Wedding-19421

“A young boy of 16… With wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now… A lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at 20… My heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows… That I promised to keep.”

pexels-photo-large1

“At 25, now… I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide… And a secure happy home.
A man of 30… My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other… With ties that should last.”

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