When I Am An Old Woman...

I have always liked English author Jenny Jones' 1961 poem, and when my parents retired, I made samplers for each of them using a modification of the original text.

For my mom:

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 daiquiris and geraniums
and cross stitch and say we've no money for steam irons.
I shall sit down a lot more often
and visit Williamsburg and sleep late
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall venture to the kitchen to concoct soup
and walk four miles every morning
and learn to send e-mail.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now
so when people who know me are not too surprised
when I suddently am old and start to wear purple?

For my dad:

When I am an old man, I shall wear purple
with red socks, which doen't go but doesn't bother me,
and I shall spend my pension on scotch and yellow mustard
and hard drives and say we have no money for haircuts.
I shall set up the saw in the driveway
and play the organ with four fingers and read spy novels
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall walk the beach in one of my straw hats
and sniff out the best price for prime rib
and learn to make sourdough bread.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now
so when people who know me are not too surprised
when I suddently am old and start to wear purple?

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marbeth@marthabeth.com

Last updated January 5, 2004.