You see me, only as I am today,
Bent and warped and frail and worn away,
And think not of my youthful carelessness,
My heat, my stamina, my strong caress.
You see my skin, translucent, pale, thin,
And patched and freckled, blotched, and my poor chin
All downed and spiked and coiled with wiry hairs,
And see my tired eyes, milk filmed with cares.
And know not anything of who I used to be,
When I had umpteen children at my knee,
And made my garden, grew it first from seed,
And dug the borders edged the lawns with stone,
And raised the beds and pruned the apple trees,
And cut the firewood and did not moan,
And new the names of every pretty weed,
And let them be, but laboured on my knees
To stop them crowding out the rarer flowers.
No, you knew me not in former, finer hours,
In glory days when unbent, I could bend,
And cannot now conceive, nor comprehend,
Because it seems so cruel and so wrong,
That I am only weak, because I once was strong.