What do you see nurses ,what do you see?
What are you thinking, when you look at me?
A crabbit old woman , not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with far away eyes
Who dribbles her food, and makes no reply.
Then 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.
Unresisting or not, lets you do as you will
With bathing or 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 move at your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of ten, with a father and mother
And brothers and sisters who love one another.
A girl of sixteen, with wings on her feet,
Dreaming that soon, 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 I have young of my own,
Who need me to build a secure, happy home.
A woman of thirty, my young now grow fast,
Bound together with ties that forever should last.
At forty my young ones have grown up and gone,
But my man is 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 I have known.
I am an old woman now, nature is cruel.
'Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles, grace and vigour depart .
There is 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 nurses,
open and see
not a crabbit old woman look closer,
see me.
By: Phyllis McCormack


What do we see, you ask, what do we see?
Yes, we are thinking when looking at thee!
We may seem to be hard when we hurry and fuss,
But there's many of you, and too few of us.
We would like far more time to sit by you and talk,
To bath you and feed you and help you to walk.
To hear of your lives and the things you have done;
Your childhood, your husband, your daughter, your son.
But time is against us, there's too much to do -
Patients too many, and nurses too few.
We grieve when we see you so sad and alone,
With nobody near you, no friends of your own.
We feel all your pain, and know of your fear
That nobody cares now your end is so near.
But nurses are people with feelings as well,
And when we're together you'll often hear tell
Of the dearest old Gran in the very end bed,
And the lovely old Dad, and the things that he said,
We speak with compassion and love, and feel sad
When we think of your lives and the joy that you've had.
When the time has arrived for you to depart,
You leave us behind with an ache in our heart.
When you sleep the long sleep,
no more worry or care,
There are other old people, and we must be there.
So please understand if we hurry and fuss -
There are many of you,
and too few
of us.

Author Unknown