Living to be
one-hundred and three,
is not quite the prize it’s been cracked up to be!
First, there’s the pain in your back, and your knees,
and your fingers and shoulders and elbows, which seize
up and leave you
unable to dance, though,
let’s face it,
at this age, there isn’t much chance.
no meeting Prince Charming.
(There’s some seem to find my deep wrinkles alarming.)
And no, I’m not saying, I wish I were dead.
There’s so many books that I haven’t yet read;
there’s people I love that I still long to see,
some people out there who still recognise me.
It’s just that I can’t work out which scares me more –
or being one-hundred and four?
I’ve buried a husband, a daughter, my friends.
I’ve nursed them
and comforted them
at their ends.
I can’t help but wondering who will there be,
or simply to sit here with me?
And, yet, here we are, the luckiest ones,
not cut short by cancers,
nor mowed down by guns.
I’m unsure quite how, up to now, death got cheated.
Knocked down, we get up;
we’re still here – undefeated.
There’s no way, each day, for me to explain,
the courage it takes just to get up again.
So, here’s my advice, if you’re minded to take it:
You can’t learn to be nice? You’d best learn how to fake it!
You don’t get to decide who the person will be
who knows you’re alive at one-hundred and three.