Ageing, At Seventy, And Counting

by Leona Graham on 26 January, 2013

in Anthropocene Diary, Poesie

…. having read Lynne Segal’s Making Trouble: Life and Politics, A Political Memoir (2007)

Threescore and ten I can remember well:
Within the volume of which time I have seen
Hours dreadful and things strange; but this sore night
Hath trifled former knowings.
Shakespeare: Macbeth (1605)

The days of our years are threescore years and ten;
and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years,
yet is their strength labor and sorrow;
for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Psalms, 90

It’s scarey, being seventy.
Anything could happen.
It always could have but didn’t.
Now there’s simply more likelihood of more things
Going Badly Wrong.

Well, fingers crossed
And minding my manners
With the gods
But maybe She’s Watching Over Me
The Big Lady Beyond Them All.

Of course, my mother was cool
Even in her early nineties
Something started happening strangely
She said, when she was out walking one day.
She held out to ninety-six.

That’s fourscore and sixteen:
We’ll see what happens, eh?
People don’t appear to take me for seventy
But maybe they’re just being polite
But why bother? Anyway it’s nice.

When Mom got really old
She got extra character
Added to a strong character already
It was pretty amazing, being out
And about with her, People Noticed.

I wonder if I need to be like her
Or maybe it just happens anyway
Whatever, it’s a funny old life, eh?
You never know what’s around the corner,
Might even be a jaguar.

Meantime, I’m counting on it
Continuing being fun.
Maybe I’m lucky
I still have most of my own teeth.
Mom didn’t. During the war
They took them all out.

I’ve only lost one brother
But I’ve gained a younger sister
Thanks to my sailor dad
Loving more than one woman well.
She’s fantastic, I’ve two sisters now.

I’ve got a good guy in my life
Nine years younger
It’s the best way to plan it
Although I didn’t
Consciously.

I have wonderful friends
Dotted all over the planet
Who keep in touch every which way,
It’s like a stream of consciousness
Heavy duty far out groovy man.

My black cat with bright yellow eyes
Keeps an eye on me
And just now the big full moon
Came through the clouds
In the dark of night falling: Artemis Diana Diktynna

Bloody Hell, what a Sign
Heaven is on Earth, eh?
And one of my best things
Is having a Daughter
Who is wise, gentle and radically inclined.

I’ve just redone my will
And added in a few pals
As a kind of memento for after
But they don’t have to take what I’ve left them,
It’s the thought that counts, eh?

I do miss the land of my birth more
As I get older,
Maybe you can guess where it is
But lots of my ancestors came from
Britain so I am home here as well, right?

Getting older things get different:
I miss people who’ve gone more
I sorta feel them waiting for me
Even though that’s unlikely
But I did die in India and there’s something to it

But I came back, right, in 1975
So maybe I’m not three score and ten at all,
More like one score and eighteen.
Jesus Mary and Joseph
It explains a lot, eh?

Could be I’m a confused mixture
Of Old and Young
Let’s split it, somewhere between 38 & 70
Maybe The Elohim have their beady gaze upon me
Trying to decide what to do.

Fingers crossed.

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