Monday, April 13, 2009

Getting old, staying young

My mother celebrated her 80th birthday yesterday, auspiciously on Easter. Here is the poem written for her by my father's 85 year old sister, who has always had a nice way with words:

You tell me I am getting old -
I tell you that's not so!
The 'house' I live in is worn out
And that, ofcourse, I know.
It's been in use a long, long time;
It's weathered many a gale;
I'm really not surprised you think
It's getting somewhat frail.
The colour's changing on the roof,
The windows getting dim;
The walls a bit transparent
And looking rather thin.
The foundation's not so steady
As once it used to be,
My 'house' is getting shaky
But my 'house' isn't me!
A few short years can't make me old,
I feel I'm in my youth,
Eternity lies just ahead -
A life of joy and truth.
I'm going to live forever there -
Life will go on, it's grand!
You tell me I am getting old?
You just don't understand.
The dweller in my little 'house'
Feels like a child at play:
Just starting on a life to last
Throughout eternal day.
You're only seeing the outside
Which is all that most folks see;
You tell me I am getting old?
You mixed my 'house' with me!


VK said...


Shaji.k said...

hi lynn,
my prayers and good wishes on your mom's 80th birhday.
loved the poem, specially the line 'But my house isn't me' which distinguishes between the physical body and the 'dweller' within it, who 'feels like a child at play'! meaningful lines , i shd say.

svety said...

awesome lynn...pls wish ur mom from my side. Tell ur aunt she saved me today.....

meraj said...

heres wishing your mom a very happy birthday!

love the spirit and poetic skills of your aunt...hats off!

Smiling Dolphin said...

hi vipul, shaji, svety and meraj, hv conveyed ur wishes to my mum. my aunt lives in kamptee, will let her know.

Michelle Bambawale said...

Hey Lynn - my warmest belated birthday wishes to your mum. Great to know it was special.
Love to all

Rahul Jauhari said...

Very nice :-)


phish said...

wish your mum the bestest birthday ever. this was such a loving post.

Pooja Nair said...

Hi Lynn,

This is such a fine poem.

I just love how she uses the house as a metaphor...

Interestingly, my mother was born in Kamtee.

I am going to share this poem with people in my family - it would make their day! :)

And very belated birthday wishes to your mother.

Smiling Dolphin said...

will tell my aunt, pooja!

Anonymous said...

I had read this poem years ago in prolife literature. I now work in an Alzheimer's unit & hoped I could find it again to read...a few of the clients can still read quite well, ironic. Anyway the poem is so beautiful & describes aging perfectly. Thanks for posting it!