We are the survivors

by Angela Prew

Last year the husbands died.
All those wives are single
again. Young again. Free
of those old men with sticks
who snored.
Those men they can picture
now: young, athletic
with heads of hair.
Those men they had loved
and still love in memory.
This year we turn eighty
and the parties have begun.

We are the survivors.

What is eighty?
How does it feel?
Knees creak first
then height is lost;
‘little old lady’ refers to me
not my grandmother.
Sometimes words, names
disappear from the mind
but inside my mind
I am young. There is still time
to travel the World,
write that book
if only I were not so tired.

But we are the survivors.

We will not give in,
not learn to use a wheelchair,
not give away our silver, our pictures,
not move into one room with frail care.
While we can still travel,
while we can still swim, cook, enjoy a party
eighty is not old.

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One thought on “We are the survivors

  1. What a good idea this blog is! I like the way you have posted several poems recently which touch in different ways upon the common theme of ageing.
    This one, your most recent, begins with an arresting line: witty and clever, it just grabs attention to the rest of the poem and that determined refrain.
    I love ” ‘little old lady’ refers to me/ not my grandmother’.

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