I’ll hear your feet with their scuffling shuffle,
your grumbling cough and wheezy breath.
How can I fail to notice death
when I see your heaving shoulders,
cloudy eyes and dewdropped nose?
Would it be unwise to suppose
a chill is creeping through your bones?
Your bowl of cherries, dried old stones.
“My God, you’re looking bloody rough!
Should you be out?”
“Times must be tough!”
Shouldn’t say things like that I’m told.
Then I’ll growl,
“You’re looking old, better wrap up well
or the cold will slide you to the grave!” -
no swearing, with some good advice.
Yet the socially skilled will groan,
“Now that’s not nice!”
Must I say
“You’re looking well, It’s this mild weather,
I can tell by your colour.
It’s your walks in the park,
the long country drives
in your son’s soft-topped car.
What a marvellous colour you are,
what a marvellous colour you are.
And all the time you’re a leprous bloody white.
But I’m alright…