James Simmons, 1933-2001 Irish Poet
for James Boyce
From twenty yards I saw my old love
Locking up her car.
She smiled and waved, as lovely still
As girls of twenty are.
That clouds of auburn hair that bursts
Like sunrise round her head,
The smile that made me smile
At ordinary things she said.
But twenty years have gone and flesh
Is perishable stuff;
Can art and exercise and diet
Ever be enough
To save the tiny facial muscles
And keep taut the skin,
And have the waist, in middle-age,
Still curving firmly in?
Beauty invites me to approach,
And lies make truth seem hard
As my old love assumes her age,
A year for every yard.
From The Penguin Book of Irish Verse, Introduced and Edited by Brendan Kennelly
I am not sure if I want to be his ‘old’ love………..
Some many years ago I worked in a bigish manufacturing facility in those many years ago when this country had many such places to work. Out on the union (IAW) assembly lines were mostly woman – tough, seasoned, older women. Don’t cross them.
The joke was –
Older worker: “Twenty years ago a lot of pretty women worked here!”
Younger worker: “Where are they now?”
Older worker: “They’re still here.“
I like it. I like it a lot.