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The urban legend is that this poem was written by an elderly woman in a nursing home and was discovered after she died.  But it was actually written by a Scottish nurse and distributed widely.  (time of the video 3:47)

How the legend came about:

https://www.sundaypost.com/news/uk-news/the-true-story-behind-the-cranky-old-man-internet-poem-that-has-become-world-famous/

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I was an “in and out”- an “in” to see
A friend, a broken one who had to mend,
An “in” extending heartfelt sympathy,
An “out” when my short visit came to end.

Then through the long and sterile hall I went,
Took elevator down its narrow chute;
Watched doors too slowly open post-descent
As if two snails were ending a dispute;

And then the lobby to the sliding doors
That opened to the world both bright and free
Where sky’s the limit for the bird that soars,
Where men can sample from a panoply.

Then from a hall of the hospital maze,
A nurse rolled forth a lady in a chair,
Wheeled from a room where she had been for days
Pajama-ed like a hibernating bear.

And she’d been holed up in a tiny den
Kept there because she was not well or whole.
She was no “in and out” like me, but “in”,
And in and in and in a cubbyhole.

And though her face was pale, there was a light
Upon it, both from out and from within
As she left dark days for the one that’s bright
For sun that would bring color to her skin.

I could, with quicker pace, have walked ahead.
Instead, I slowed to be an audience
And walk behind the one who’d left her bed
To take in life the place that she had once.

My wish: to see a sheltered flower bloom,
To watch one give her hellos and goodbyes,
One like a baby bursting from the womb
Who meets the teeming, waiting world and cries.

—————————————-

© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2016.

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