With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me,
And I shall spend my pension on caviar and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am 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 a pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must wear clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for our children.
We will 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 ...
Actually, this sounds more like my mother than me. She was particular about her hair and clothes, and of course she didn't swear or spit, but she did hoard ballpoint pens, which she bummed. She lived to be 92, and the older she got the more outrageous things she would say. She loved a bargain, and once at a yard sale, she talked the lady down to 50 cents for a pair of shoes. When she got in the car, my daughter noticed that they were marked a quarter!
Contact Alyce Faye Bragg at alycef...@citlink.net or write to 2556 Summers Fork Road, Ovapa, WV 25164.