I won’t wait to be an old man to wear purple
With a red cap which doesn’t go, and a suit tie.
And so I spend my pennies now on marijuana and gummie bears
And satin bedsheets, and say we’ve no money for gas.
I like to sit down in frozen foods when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in Publix and press the cashiers’ buttons
And run my tongue along the icy railings
And practice up for the alzheimers of my future.
I go out naked in the rain
And pick the fruit in other peoples’ trees
And spit out the seeds.
You, too, could wear terrible t-shirts and grow more fatter
And eat three pounds of fried twinkies at a go
Or only bread and peanut butter for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and discarded cell phones in boxes.
But I know I must still have clothes that keep me dry
And pay the mortgage and not rage in the road
And appreciate the good examples of the neighbors.
We must give friends birthday cards and read their blogs.
And maybe you also ought to practice a little now
So people who know you are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly, you too, start to wear purple.
By Dewey Davis-Thompson
a tribute to
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 the flowers in other peoples’ gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickles for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats 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.
by Jenny Joseph