Jenny Joseph


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

Or only bread and pickle for a week

And hoard pens and pencils and beer mats 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 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.

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