The Lottery

“You’re energetic !” she said
as I walked past her
in her front garden
looking at dead twigs
on shrubs weakened by drought.
She walked slowly, awkwardly,
her body thickened like mine.
Yet she spoke brightly, smiling,
seeming to enjoy the glaring sun
though old age had
not blessed her physically.

I walked past the little front flat
towing my shopping trundler
to the supermarket
as I often do.
They say only old ladies
use trundlers for shopping.
“I don’t want to lose
what I have,” I called.
“Good !” she said emphatically.

We are both said to be old.
My gold pensioner’s card
proves I am old.
the woman’s face looks
not much older than mine
yet her body could not walk
to the supermarket,
to town or the library,
as readily as mine.

Old age is a lottery.
A body’s owner builds a life
around what it will do.
What will that lottery
do to us ?


Previously posted March 2016.

The Lottery