Crabbit Old Woman

Knowledge This assignment will strengthen your knowledge of empathy. Task Review the Poem below: Crabbit Old Woman What do you see, nurses…………What do you see? What are you thinking……….When you’re looking at me? A crabbit 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, nurses….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 children…..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 just 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 the 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, nurse…..Open and see Not a crabbit old woman….Look closer….See ME!   by Phyllis McCormack in 1966 Now complete the Learning Activity here: 1.  How did you feel after reading this poem?  Please write a one-paragraph reflection related to your thoughts and feelings in relation to the poem and your soon to be career as a nurse.

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