How To Treat Old Age

Written for:  Poets United Midweek Motif~Ode to Age
You may write about youth, old age or even about a distinct period of history or literature.

“Why so scrawny, cat?
Starving for fat fish or mice….
Or backyard love?” — Basho

Mom said long hair in old age is unsuitable
Tired of shorter hair, I’m growing mine, irrefutable.
I do give in to some conventions,
to my legs, I pay more attention
by not wearing patterned black stockings,
’cause blue veins serve  well as flocking.
Clothes are aging hippie mixed here and there
with leggings and sweaters, winter wear.
Age comes in like a spider creeping
no point in sadness or weeping.
Your mouth will turn down without pouting,
lines will appear–check with mirror if doubting.
Aches, pains, and illnesses may assault you,
so indulge yourself the way you ought to.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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17 Responses to How To Treat Old Age

  1. oldegg says:

    I couldn’t agree more. It is as though we have been given a second childhood but this time we won’t be told off!


  2. susanstoo says:

    Totally indulging, with some of the same gestures–mid-length instead of short hair on my head, for one. Nicely done with fine rhymes.


  3. Sherry says:

    I am all for comfy warm hippie clothes. And i so admire older women who keep their hair very long and natural. Mine is too thin and limp, so i wear it to my shoulders. But i envy the rich grey locks of some of the locals….both men and women, lol. A lot of refugees from the 60’s live here. Smiles.


  4. Sumana Roy says:

    Ha, good tips 🙂 Acceptance makes a contented life.


  5. thotpurge says:

    Indulge yourself the way you ought to… so true.. wise words Sara.


  6. gillena cox says:

    Yup. Heres to managing this phase with patience and love



  7. annell4 says:

    This is TC, or too cute…in a good way….


  8. kim881 says:

    I’m taking the opportunity to wear what I want now that I’m too old for anyone to dictate to me! I love leggings, think stockings,, long hippy skirts, black sweaters and cardigans – and I’m growing out my bob! Your poem reminds me of a wonderful poem by the late Jenny Jose[h:
    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 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.


  9. Rall says:

    Yes indulge yourself…grow your hair long.


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