Noreen Carden

(16/12/50 / Mayo)

The Person We See


Grey wispy hair pokes through her hat
Waddling homeward on worn down heels
Carrying bags that hit and bump
on legs as they hurry through city streets

Sitting alone in her cold flat
She dreams by the fire of days long gone
When she was looked at not just seen
When she was pretty and young and strong

Once she wore silk against her skin
Heads would turn as she walked in
Her opinion was sought and acted upon
Her smile could cause a soul to yearn
That was in the long ago when friends
were plenty and troubles few
Now people look but never see
The person that she used to be

Submitted: Saturday, August 31, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, September 03, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

I wrote this after talking to a lovely older lady in a doctor s waiting room

Comments about this poem (The Person We See by Noreen Carden )

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  • Daniel Brick (5/8/2014 8:20:00 PM)

    This is an unsentimental look at ageing - Yeats's Cast a cold eye. The amazing result is that it filled with genuine sentiment, nothing forced on the reader, nothing artificial. As I read it I felt the person we see is also the person we are. (If I were reading this poem in my 20s my reaction would be much different!) You describe A Day in the Life of - type scenario, in which living goes forward and memories stay put. Whether those memories cause bitterness or relief depends on the individual. I like to think this woman is well balanced and is ageing with dignity, if not grace. But I don't deny her grace! ! (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (11/22/2013 1:03:00 AM)

    With the passage of time, our looks and appearance undergo rapid changes. When young and influential, friends surround and acceptance come our way! But when old age advances, friends dwindle and we have to sit lonely by the fire side, nostalgically reflecting good old times! Enjoyed this great write! ! (Report) Reply

  • Smoky Hoss (10/16/2013 3:20:00 PM)

    ah, but truly she still is; excellent, vivid story-telling, great to read! (Report) Reply

  • Roseann Shawiak (10/6/2013 2:55:00 AM)

    So true to life. Have experienced it myself, feeling invisible to the living. Not being seen as the person I used to be except when people read my poetry. In poems I am seen in the words I write, yet, I am never seen for who I truly am even then. Good solid poem, I like it a lot. Thank you for sharing it. RoseAnn (Report) Reply

  • Bri Edwards (9/16/2013 6:31:00 PM)

    some aspects of the used-to-be person are probably there.......perhaps some of the better aspects. but i know what you mean. of course i'm not referring to ME! at 65, i'm still pretty [handsome] and young [at heart] and strong [enough]. i feel sorry for the normal people! ha ha. thanks for sharing. time for my walk. :)
    i have a bit o irish in me. but you probably could tell that. (Report) Reply

  • Ken E Hall (9/6/2013 7:48:00 AM)

    Very nice to read reality as it is for most of us, glad to know beauty still stays within and when you listen you can see it..original and thought provoking...regards (Report) Reply

  • Dave Walker (9/4/2013 6:50:00 AM)

    A really great poem and so true. As people get older and their friends
    pass away they end up alone, but nobody really notices. As you say
    people look but never see. (Report) Reply

  • John Brown (9/3/2013 1:56:00 PM)

    An all too common problem Noreen. Nice poem. I like the line: That was in the long ago (Report) Reply

  • Khairul Ahsan (9/2/2013 3:39:00 AM)

    Now people look but never see
    The person that she used to be
    What an incisive observation!
    I am amazed,10/10. (Report) Reply

  • Gajanan Mishra (8/31/2013 9:49:00 AM)

    smile caused a soul to yearn, good write, thanks.
    I invite you to read my poems and comment. (Report) Reply

Read all 17 comments »

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