Several years ago my daughter brought me a book of poems and reflections on growing old. When she gave it to me she assured me she did not think I was old – but she thought I would enjoy looking at my mother’s world (since my mother was old).
Too quickly the years have passed. My mother is now deceased (how strange that sounds) and I AM becoming the old woman in the family.
I laughed when I first read this poem. I still laugh – but I relate to it so much more than I did when she gave it to me.
So – for all my “old lady friends” I want to share this poem by 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 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 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 practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
So – friend if you see me in purple with a red hat – know that I am an old woman for sure!