Warning by Jenny Joseph

 Warning, by Jenny Joseph
When I am old 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 people's 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 pickle 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.

This poem, first written in 1987 has sparked somewhat of a craze amongst the baby-boomer generation.  There is a worldwide society called the 'Red Hat Group' and even a Wiki page dedicated to describing who "Red Hatters" are - there are 70,000 registered members and 24,000 chapters around the world.  This makes the society the largest women's social group in the world!  My mum is one.  And she reads this blog and send me poems.  So this one if for her!


Sue said...

Thanks Clare. I actually know this poem well. I think probably all Red Hatters do - and just for the record, the numbers you quote are an under-estimate because there are many groups that are not registered with headquaters in the USA. Apart from the fun involved with belonging to this group,it has a very valuable supportive function. The oldest member of our group will celebrate her 90th birthday in June and she is a truly inspiring model of how to enjoy life and stay young at heart.

handmade romance said...

wow i had no idea. sounds cheeky and fun with lots of good spirit x