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.
I'm a small child of ten with a mother and father,
Brothers and sisters who love one another.
A bride in her twenties--my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vow I promised to keep.
A woman of thirty, my young grow fast,
Bound to each other with a love that should last.
At forty, my sons have grown and have gone,
But my man is beside me, to see I don't mourn.
At fifty, once more babies play around my knees,
Again we know children, my husband and me.
I'm an old woman now and nature is cruel,
'Tis her 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, and I remember the pains,
And I am living and loving life all over again.
I think of all the years too few, gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last,
So open your eyes nurses, open and see,
Not a crabbed old woman; look closer--see me!