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JOSEPH, Jenny


The sun has burst the sky

The sun has burst the sky

Because I love you

And the river its banks.


The sea laps the great rocks

Because I love you

And takes no heed of the moon dragging it away

And saying coldly 'Constancy is not for you'.

The blackbird fills the air

Because I love you

With spring and lawns and shadows falling on lawns.


The people walk in the street and laugh

I love you

And far down the river ships sound their hooters

Crazy with joy because I love you.


Warning

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.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.