Alison Cassidy

(6th August,1945 / Melbourne, Australia)

! ! A Graceful Octogenarian

She smiled as we passed her table -
a nod of politeness, rather than recognition.
She was lunching with her husband -
and thinly clad in the summer heat.
She must have been in her eighties,
but remarkably elegant and self-assured.

Her hair was swept up in a messy chignon,
Her voice was cultured without being posh.
She reminded me of mum -
without the cringe
and the scoliosis.
Same generous mouth.
Same kind, deep-set eyes.

After the meal
I noticed her leave the table
and return with a new coat of lipstick.
I thought how gracefully
she carried her years
and what a salutary lesson
she offered
those sad souls
for whom cosmetic surgery
seems the only option.

Submitted: Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Edited: Tuesday, February 03, 2009

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Comments about this poem (! ! A Graceful Octogenarian by Alison Cassidy )

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  • Robert Howard (7/18/2010 8:51:00 AM)

    Beautiful poem. You would like our octogenarian friends, Jeff and Barb. They are active and animated by their love of life and their impish senses of humor. (Report) Reply

  • Meggie Gultiano (11/21/2009 9:55:00 PM)

    You really is a keen small and big things and happenings.I love your style, Ali..very vivid in describing the whole incident
    A great write indeed.

    Love♥ ♥ ♥
    Meggie (Report) Reply

  • Tailor Bell (7/15/2009 11:32:00 AM)

    your not-so-subtle sarcasm at the finish serves well to enrich the tangible imagery without being overly quip. another wonderful scene and excellent read. -Tailor (Report) Reply

  • Sandra Martyres (6/28/2009 2:04:00 AM)

    Alison, you have manged to capture the beauty of this graceful octogenarian with style...a lovely piece indeed... (Report) Reply

  • Subroto Chatterjee (6/10/2009 9:57:00 PM)

    And you are a graceful, albeit keen watcher too. Lovely human element reflecting self-effacing pride..
    Subroto (Report) Reply

  • Sally Carter (5/21/2009 2:12:00 AM)

    An inspirational poem, both in terms of style and subject matter.. I think I just discovered another favourite poet on this site! (Report) Reply

  • Susan Jarvis (5/2/2009 2:43:00 AM)

    From the magnificent title to the sage observations of the closing lines, this poem paints a linguistic picture of charm and elegance. The fact that the subject is in her eighties simply enhances the beauty. An admirable piece. S :) (Report) Reply

  • Stephen Stirk (3/10/2009 5:18:00 AM)

    Such a poetic study. I have to say that some people are lucky enough to wear their years so well. I like the setting and the flow too
    (A 52 year old crinkled prune) (Report) Reply

  • Diana Van Den Berg (2/21/2009 2:49:00 PM)

    I LOVE this! That is exactly how I would like to age (more than I already have!) - with grace! What a delightful portrait you have painted! I don't suppose you ever saw her again, but what a wonderful gesture it would have been if you did, and were able to give her a copy of the poem! (Report) Reply

  • Alison Cassidy (1/31/2009 1:57:00 AM)

    A Graceful Octogenarian.

    To see the past in other’s eyes
    extracting memories which melt
    on readers’ tongues. There’s no surprise
    (Bar how you express, what you have felt…..)

    Wonderful, as per usual, Allie

    Danny (Report) Reply

  • C.R. Clark (1/25/2009 6:42:00 PM)

    This is a fantastic write, Alison. If ever you should witness a crime, I'm sure the police could solve it quickly, being in possession of your wonderful description. You see soooo much. I really enjoyed this beautiful poem. Best wishes
    Richard (Report) Reply

  • Naseer Ahmed Nasir (1/22/2009 12:48:00 AM)

    Your observation is very generous Alison. People who understand and accept the age facter with the passage of time always remain contended and look graceful.
    Naseer (Report) Reply

  • Fay Slimm (1/20/2009 1:01:00 AM)

    The word grace oozes from this recollective poem Allie - - and you honour the dear soul who took your eye and heart into her own graceful acceptance...... life is truly what we make it...... bless you for remembering - - - and as for cosmetic surgery - - yes I agree with your final lines! ! .... hugs from Fay...xx (Report) Reply

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