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Margaret Kollmer

Rookie (South Africa)

A Crabby Old Woman!

What do you see, kids, what do you see?
Are you thinking when you are looking at me...
A crabby 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, unresisting 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, kids - you're looking at ME.

I tell you who I am as I sit here so still
as I act on your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child often, with a father and mother
Brothers and sisters who love 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 2O - 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 3O, my young now grow fast
Bound to each other with ties that should last.

At 4O, my young sons have all grown and gone
But my man's beside me to see I don't mourn.
At 5O, 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 to the future and 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 sad to make old age look like a fool..
The body it crumbles, grace and vigour depart
There now is a stone where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcase, a young girl still dwells
And now, again, my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys, I remember the pain
And I'm living and loving 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, kids, open and see
Not a crabby old woman - look closer, see ME!

I didn't write this - I found it somewhere.
But I could well have written it! ! !

Submitted: Sunday, March 30, 2008
Edited: Friday, April 18, 2008

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