Being old is not as grand as getting old
So you stand there (if you can)
Flashing your experience like some phased out currency
From before the coup d’état of youth.
Disaster can be merciful compared to the pitfalls of everyday life.
After surviving the war and the peace
You can’t tell if they are black & white photographs
Or your own childhood memories.
In the unsung middle of life, the women stealing glances at you
Were fifty-five as often as they were twenty-five
And their measured smiles astonished them and you,
Creating a spot on Earth from where both poles could be seen.
After that, weather permitting, you sedulously swim
While old age, that far-off island, fogs the horizon
With the conviction of a cup of tea
Served during the Blitz.