A to Z Blogging Challenge


When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me…

Jenny Joseph

Three “old” poems — one for my grandmother, one for my mother, and one for me.


When I am old, I shall buy a piano
And rest my fingers lightly on the keys, curved just so.
I’ll retrain them to move the way they did when I was a girl,
The time I accompanied my brother, Nichol,
While he played his violin for Calvin Coolidge.
I’ll play hymns on the upright

And sing along
With the nobody in the room.
And I will drink dessert wine
Even though I am a Baptist
One glass every night before bed
Because my doctor said I could.


SCN_0071When I am old, I shall plant a garden
Not of practical vegetables like green beans and carrots,
But a banquet for the eyes.
A sumptuous spread of colors
That changes from week to week,
Crocuses, daffodils, bachelor buttons, and poppies.
I shall plant it close to the road
IMG_0494For the passers-by to feast upon
If they but take their time.
But to those who drive too fast,
I will shake my fist
And shout –
“Slow down!
You’re missing the best part of life!”

IMG_8576When I am old, I will pump iron.
I’ll pull my kettle bells out of the closet
And swing them.

I’ll do squats and lunges,
Deadlifts, presses,
Russian twists,
And Turkish get-ups.
My body may wear the softness of a slowed metabolism
But underneath I will be strong –
Strong enough to arm-wrestle with my children
And laugh at the absurdity of the thing
But still occasionally win.

18 thoughts on “Old

  1. I am so happy you stopped by my blog on the A to Z Challenge. (www.vintagedazecolumn.wordpress.com) When I saw the name of your blog I was intrigued and had to come take a peek. Oh my goodness, I just love it! Especially the posts about your mom and dealing with her Alzheimer’s. I’m sorry about your loss. I know it’s a dual edged sword. You’re happy to see them out of their misery, yet miss them with every cell of your being.
    I am sending this link to my sister to read too!

  2. My favorite parts… drinking dessert wine, shaking a fist at those who don’t see my garden, and fighting the physical loss of age. Beautiful poetry reminding me that age is only detrimental if we allow it to be.

    1. If you knew my grandmother, you would understand how monumental that dessert wine was!

      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  3. Love these poems! Did you write them or are they poems you particularly enjoy?

    1. I wrote them. The original poem, “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple,” is by Jenny Joseph and has been around for a while. I just followed the format, but made it fit my family.

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