Friday, 14 June 2013
Late night TV on the BBC,
more scary than the latest horror movie:
three shiny presenters, glib, well-fed,
none of them much over thirty,
exchange smart remarks
and laugh and laugh
to think that people might die.
But wait. It's ok.
These are not real people.
They are only, after all, 'the elderly';
they are not, what is more,
the elderly well-off
but the sad and shambling poor.
'If they die,' goes the argument,
'that's a good thing, isn't it?
It will help us solve the problem
of their pensions.'
'There are too many of them.'
More high-pitched laughter.
Laugh? I could have
laughed till I cried.
I did cry this morning.
It weighed all through the night,
this wondering what end might await me:
to be 'passed over', not to be treated
in favour of the fit and the young;
of course, lightly sedated,
I might just slip away,
a tender kiss in the pale crook of my elbow;
no pain, perhaps, but not to be mourned;
no evil-smelling, difficult good-byes.
You are never old inside,
so my grandmother said;
and she lived to be cosseted and wept for.
Surely, I have given as much
and yet -
such a laugh.
Baby-boomers must take less from society
Abigail Wyatt writes poetry and short fiction and hopes for the best. She does not watch much television. This is is one reason why.