There is one I know (though there are some,
when they are ninety-two, are good as done),
but she is good for another ninety-two,
refusing the acknowledgement of age;
denying understandable excuses;
rejecting even a hint so to eschew
yielding toes to daisies
or the mind to numb.
So much to say, of this special one.
Somehow, she has been almost everywhere;
seen all, done all, but still with much to do
for life’s great jigsaw puzzle’s looking large,
larger and, in fact, more colourful;
with more know-how-do than me or you,
carpe diem! disports
us all to warmer sun;
to paint a picture of a favourite view:
yellow tinted dusty outback hut;
a portal vista bathed in flesh warm light;
the portrait of a pet by photograph.
Then there is that haunt, familiar,
wants to remind us and, thus viewed, it might
imbue us with a vision
that only came from you.
The portraits, yes, the portraits there were many;
maybe fifteen minutes each, no more;
down the bustling shopping mall, they would
sit and wait with patience, longing for
a painting, posh and framed upon the wall;
it maybe just a sketch, but special; they could
pay the rent, for you
it was a job like any.
And then, who can match your swing, the fullest
ever seen at any age, but now
the lightest touch belies a steely strength,
like the best the world has seen, but how
to grace the game for more than eighty years,
addressing ball, its flight to joy and length,
that moves competing youth
to cry on fallen crest.
And once they realise their pointless task
is folly in the face of such sagacity,
especially when rewarded with a cake,
perhaps a game of bridge, a cup of tea;
fruitful in the end, to help forget
lost points to Stableford, a big mistake,
will make them think next time,
before they dare to ask
and challenge you to any kind of game,
’cause they will bite off more than they can chew;
more in fact than anyone would bet
more than pride itself would dare release
to chance, without first bargaining the odds.
There’s no-one been this way before, and yet
less chance there’ll be again;
they’d never be the same.
© 2011 John Anstie
(View the author’s commentary for this poem)