Younger for the Latter Years
Unites State Secret.
And who knows
Ion-drives, anti-gravity propulsion
Ray guns and Martians in cryogenic suspension.
Age 51 in an hour from now –
Two if I count by GMT
And not where I happen to be,
Rather than by this Wehrmacht grey, teutonic timepiece,
Synchronised with clinical efficiency
To an atomic clock
That loses barely a millisecond in a million years...
Unless someone pulls the plug out, that is,
Like that Stateside hospital cleaner
Who couldn't find a socket,
So she unplugged intensive care machinery
And dutifully re-plugged
Before leaving the room both
Slipped away and fell asleep
Well before the 'witching hour' -
Woke to find myself 50 no more.
51's a strange age though:
At 35 you feel too young
To be half way through the three-score and ten.
Tells a different tale –
Over the 'hump' and heading
Slowly down the slow-but-sure slide.
Paradoxically I feel the younger for the latter years:
More alive to life and free of fears.
Tony Jolley's Other Poems
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