One Day I Will Look Like You

One day I’ll look like you

I met you, by chance, on Zoom

Your small smiles rippling out into large wrinkles 

Earrings bouncing, like mine, hair white, fluffy and still 

Our prompt for the writing workshop was Edwin Morgan’s ‘At Eighty’

And you said you could attest to the creaking and boldness since you were also 80

I watched you and thought

One day I’ll look like you

I’ll have lost that currency of youth

Have to pay the toll of time 

No more easy ways in with just a sweet grin 

In fact, it’s already occurring. 

I love partying and flirting. 

I used to think I’d miss it when I’m old

But I’ve just decided I’m going to keep doing it

Why have I always seen a divide between women like me and women like you? 

It’s been subconsciously ingrained to feel sorry for older women, especially those who wear and are as much as they want

One day I’ll look like you

Will my body have known the power of growing new life?

Expanded and exploited

Cut from hip to hip

Or torn anus to clit

Or will there be an unused space

I know I’m nearly thirty but

I’m not ready yet 

I think it’s better to regret

Not having children

Than to regret having them

One day I’ll look like you

And maybe finally me and ma pals will have made that commune

But it doesn’t sit right with me.

No longer a need to fight for others or change the system because

We’ve used our multitudinous privileges to pay for an escape

A cheat code to access a safer level through this capitalist game

One day I’ll look like you

And maybe I won’t recognise myself or anyone I love anymore

I’ll be paying a

Care home corporation a thousand pounds a week

Out of my life’s love and labour

Whilst the people giving me the highest amount of intimate of care

Are getting paid the lowest amount that their employers can get away with

One day I’ll look like you 

No matter how seriously I act to be taken seriously

I might as well be loud and silly

There’s so much stuff I could do better, so much in the world to worry about and I’ll try to do my best with my years

But in the end…

One day I’ll look like you

And I hope then that I am too

Still writing in creative writing workshops

Laughing with

Someone younger than me who is questioning the concept of youth

See Natalie’s performance of this poem here.

Image courtesy of Cristian Newman.

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