Empty Faces


Empty spaces

Empty faces

Eyes glazed

Sleepy and dazed

Slouched in their seat

Feeling defeat

People walk by

No reason why

Not stopping to say

How are you today

Just another face

Among  human race

Another mouth to feed

To a heart that does bleed

Take them back to their room

That  is so full of gloom

Change their pants and then

Toss them to bed once again

No one taking the time

To see if they are fine

Walk by the door

Nope they’re not on the floor

Get them up one more time

Get them in the feeding line

Give them a bath or a shower

Get it done within an hour

Then put into bed

Without anything said

She asks as I leave

Can you come here please

Can you sit for a while

Can you offer me a smile…………..

Terry Shepherd




34 thoughts on “Empty Faces

  1. Terry, this is so true, sad, but true. I worked in an Assisted Living Center for about 4 years. All any of us ever wanted is someone to listen. You have captured the heart of the elderly in this poem. May it remind us all to slow down, shut up, sit down, and listen…


  2. So sad Terry, but not all places are like that. There are some good ones. When my mom was in the hospital, a couple of the CNA’s who cared for her actually came to the hospital to visit her. They were off the clock, they simply came because they cared. It’s sad that some people don’t care, but I pray that there are some at Al’s facility who genuinely care for him, and I pray that you will witness this, so that you will be comforted.

    I know it’s hard for you, but if they succeed in making you bitter, the enemy has won. I pray that the Lord will reveal the good to you. Much love to you, and many blessings as you continue to care for your brother.



    • I try very hard to take all into consideration. I think I just get tired as it seems to be one thing after another. Today I visited Al and it was a good day. Chalk one up on our side!


  3. Terry out of all of your post this one just made me sit back and think….wow. You know we wonder sometimes what in the world is God thinking. Maybe all of this is so you can minister to all the people who have no one to love them or to just ask how they are doing. This may be God using you…


    • I don’t know, you may be right. I let God use my fingers when I write. I do know that I feel like a talent God has given me is to see into other people’s hearts. Maybe I am compassionate, I don’t know but I know I feel and I know I see what elderly have to go through once they are taken out of the mainstream. Life isn’t really about our work place or how many cars we have or how expensive our house is. It is about love and life and caring for each other. No one should ever be entirely alone in this big world. Thanks my friend for letting me know what you thought of this post.It means a lot to me………..big hugs to you from me


      • The American culture is so different from other cultures. In a lot, I’m Lebanese on my fathers side and mountain hill folk on my mothers, the elderly are revered and cared for with the utmost honor and held in high regard. It seems a lot of people feel the need to “get them out of the way” so they can carry on their lives unburdened by the responsibility of caring for the old. Two things I find at fault with that reasoning..first… one day your kids are going to have to make the decision about you and they will most likely decide the way they saw you decide…second…if our parents had taken the same attitude with us as children we would all have grown up in an orphanage or childrens home.


      • I like the mountain hill folk in you. I recognized it when I first met you. I love the beliefs and well, just about everything. It is true that our youth will decide our path, but I also have to tell you that I believe Satan is running this world more than ever and for that reason I don’t want some youth choosing where I go. I prefer someone who understands and loves me. I so wish you lived around here. Would love to talk to u more


  4. I just read this back to myself and I realized I should have said “one day OUR children” The way it is written sounds like I was talking to you explicitly. I hope you know it was rhetorical? Sometimes my brain and fingers just don’t get along!


    • I knew exactly who you were talking about. It wasn’t me, it was in general of our future. Although my friend, I sometimes feel I am right around the corner being there


      • unfortunately yes, i was working with a terrified first placement student and i remember saying to her ‘the one thing you need to remember is that you are here to care’ As nurses we get so busy with paper work we don’t have time to care.


      • I can understand that. Even as a CNA for so many years it gets old and routine as any job. But for nursing it takes that extra mile all the time because we are dealing with so many issues, age, disabilities, illness, abuse etc. You are so kind. I can only imagine you are a great nurse


  5. Heartbreaking that this is so true in our society. Our nation tends to throw our elderly away. Beautiful poem, though.


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