Internet hit “The Cranky Old Man” has a follow-up poem called “A Nurse’s Reply”.
Many readers got in touch with The Sunday Post after we printed the poem Look Closer last week.
Lots recalled another verse we published entitled A Nurse’s Reply.
The moving poem Look Closer is a plea by an elderly patient to those looking after her.
It urges carers to see beyond the frail, confused woman before them and consider the person within.
A ‘new’ version of the poem The Cranky Old Man has gained popularity on Facebook.
It’s mistakenly attributed to an anonymous Australian care home resident.
Last week we revealed the original was penned by Scots nurse Phyllis McCormack in the ’60s and published in The Sunday Post in 1973.
It sparked huge interest at the time and we later published another verse called A Nurse’s Reply.
Both were printed on cards and given to readers. Many thousands were given away over the years.
Another reader revealed a DVD version of Look Closer had been made by actress Amanda Waring, with Virginian McKenna voicing the old woman.
A Nurse’s Reply
What do we see, you ask, what do we see?
Yes we are thinking when looking at thee!
We may seem 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 bathe 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 behind 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.