The Power of Purple—and Spitting

When I am an old woman 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 flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
~ Jenny Joseph

The above bit of loveliness is oft-quoted, especially the first two lines, and held up as an example of the blessings of aging: we can do whatever the heck we want.

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