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Scraping By! ©

Gordon Fjaelberg
Bridgend, Wales
2005

Precious little is wrong with me,
I'm fighting fit - comparatively!
Arthritis currently nibbles my knees,
I speak with a cranky, throaty wheeze,
My heart pulsates,
My blood is thin,
I whistle a tune
When I breathe in,
My fingers shake,
My ankles swell;
Apart from all that, I'm doing well.

Athletic supports on both my feet
Enable me to pound the street;
Sleep deprival, many a night,
Precludes the fact I'm doing all right.
My ears both echo,
My belly sags,
As one bit shrinks
Another bit drags,
A rib goes "Crick!"
A vertebra "Click!",
My head gyrates,
My brain is sore,
(I daren't describe
The thing that's raw!);
My doctor says it's quite bizarre
The fact I managed to get this far.
Despite lumbago, vertigo, spin,
I'm doing OK for the shape I'm in.

My dim and distant youth is spent,
My 'get up and go' has got up and went.
Yet I raise a wry smile,
(Though it hurts my spleen),
When I recall where my 'get up' has been.

"Old age is golden!" was what I'd heard,
But perish the thought - it's too absurd.
My ears are in drawers,
My teeth in a cup,
My eyes are in lockers
Until I get up.
Potions and pills in a row. What a fright!
I start on the left, and work my way right.
As I decline, I say to myself:
"Is anything else I can put on a shelf?"

When I was young, my slippers were red,
I kicked my heels right over my head.
In middle-age my slippers were blue,
Yet still I danced the whole night through.
Now I'm old, my slippers are black;
I shuffle about, and puff my way back.

I rise every morning to dust off my bits,
Scan the news, catch up with my wits,
Then re-insert all my life support;
Nothing on TV, just adverts and sport,
Riots and mayhem, rumours of war -
When you reach my age, it's all happened before.

The moral is this, now my tale is told;
That those of us who are growing old
Should put on a face sublime and brave,
For all that the situation's grave.
It's wiser to say: "I'm fine!", with a grin,
Than let people know the shape you're in.


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