When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which 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 the 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 bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats 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.
Jenny Joseph was born in Birmingham, and became a scholar at St Hilda's College, Oxford. She has worked as a reporter, a lecturer and a pub landlady. This poem comes from her collection 'Rose in the Afternoon' published in 1974.
Thursday, 12 February 2015
Poem for the Day
Posted by elaine at 13:24