Will You See Me?


I know you are here to take care of me,
but when you come into this room,
Will you see me?
I open my mouth for bites of food,
for medicine, for sips of water,
like a baby bird, I must seem, tucked away
in a nest on distant branches,
so far away, am I here in this bed;
but when I open my mouth to sing,
Will you hear me?
Will you sing with me?
I see your youth unfold and I know I am old;
Can you still see me?
I press my call button and a buzzer sounds,
but when you come into my room
Will you hear me?
Even If I don’t remember my words,
Will you still hear me?
When the breath beats at my brittle bones
finally breaks free,
Will you be with me?
At 4 pm, when the afternoon sunlight floods too warm
into this back porch window,
Will you feel me?


Thanks to reader Elaine Highfield for sharing this. About Elaine:

I earned my BA in English Literature in 2008. In 2014 I became an STNA. After working as a nurse’s aide for a little over two years, I became an LPN. I work full time as a nurse at a long term/rehab care facility for the elderly, Kenwood Terrace Care Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. This poem is not just about giving care, it is about one human seeing another, and about honoring each other. It is a reminder to myself as a care giver to not just see patients but persons and to fill my work with both love and respect.

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