Crabbit Old Woman Poem


What do you see, what do you see?

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

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 loosing a stocking or shoe.

Who, unresisting or not; lets you do as you will

With bating and feeding the long day is fill.

Is that what you’re thinking,

Is that what you see?


Then open your eyes,

Nurse, you looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am I sit here so still!

As I rise 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 loved one another,

A young girl of 16 with wings on her feet,

Dreaming that soon now a lover she’ll meet,

A bride soon at 20 – my heart gives a leap,

Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.


At 25 now I have young of my own

Who need me to build a secure happy home;

A woman of 30, my young now grow fast,

Bound to each other with ties that should last;

At 40, my young sons are grown and are gone.

By my man’s beside me to see I don’t mourn;

At 50 once more babies play around my knee,

Again we know children, my loved one and me.


Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead,

I look to 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 an old woman now and nature is cruel-

Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.


The body is crumbled, grace and vigour 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 joy, 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, nurse, open and see,

Not a crabbit old woman, look closer-

See Me.

Back to news/blog

Other articles

Read more

More than many other topics, addiction is surrounded by myths and misinformation. Substance abuse is a hugely emotional issue and opinions on the issue vary widely. While this is to be expected, it is dangerous when opinions on such a life-impacting issue are based on information that is less than factual. Here we will discuss and dispel some of the most common myths associated with drug abuse and addiction.

Published on 17th July 2018

Read more

Come see us on the 18th of July at 10 Pioneer St, Henderson. We look forward to your visit.

Published on 9th July 2018

Read more

New research suggests the number of strokes could increase 40% over the next decade and urgent action is needed to manage the burden

Published on 3rd July 2018

Read more

Care and Support workers began receiving their new wage rates from 1 July 2017

Published on 19th June 2018

Get in touch

Fill out the enrolment form and email it to us at

Download Enrolment Form

Latest news

Kalandra Education Group is registered by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under Part 18 of the Education Act 1989

Copyright © 2018 Kalandra Education Group

Website crafted by bocapa