Wednesday, June 24, 2009

aging: warning

One way to handle aging is to thumb your nose at it while getting all the mileage you can out of the old lady cliches. I've always loved this poem for its attitude.


When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn't go and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only eat bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers

But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old and start to wear purple.

by Jenny Joseph

For another fun poem about aging, Linda introduces us to an old cat: "When I Am An Old Cat."


Lynda S. said...

Isn't it true—sometimes the older you get the less you care about what people think, or the restrictions that society places on you.

This poem reminds of one that a friend gave me. It's a cat's perspective. I'm going to post it right now so you can add it to your collection, Vi.

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