3 August 2006



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 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 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 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 surprised
When suddenly I am old and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph

(Found this at Krawuggl, who's got more patience than I do, posting in both German and English).

1 comment:

Patti said...

This has been one of my favorite poems ever since I heard it the first time years and years ago at a lecture by Eleanor Peace Bailey, the doll maker. She had a purple streak in her hair - at age 60 something - and said she put it there because her kids told her she couldn't.