Poemtry & Verse

 

 Warning

Jenny Joseph

 

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 got no money for butter.

 

And 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 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 suits and grow more fat

And eat three pounds of sausages at a go

Or only bread and pickles 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!