Thursday 2 November 2017


I think I know this:
I could be happy at 80.

Or perhaps 81, 
When I am safely on board. 

This being in my thirties
Is neither here nor there

And waiting for forty 
Is a certain death.

Death to youth. I know this
Because I keep getting told this.

You are not young,
Anymore. They say.

As though I was curious
As to what I was. 

(c) Shaista Tayabali, 2017 
(Poetry prompt for Dverse Open Link Night

Today happens to be my friend Sylvia's birthday - one of those 'big 0' numbers that have to be faced down every ten years... Sylvia is a cyclist, a cartographer, a mathematician, a feminist, a gardener, a reader, a thinker - oh also wife, mother and grandmother but really, what has her age to do with anything? Her Sylvia-ness is everything. Sylvia and her delightful husband Colin live in a magnificent five hundred year old farmhouse, and each timber frame is guarded by Old Man Rayner, who watches over my friends with care and looks with equal care, possibly suspicion, at outsiders walking past his giant iron shoulders. 


Sanaa Rizvi said...

Love this๐Ÿ’ž as women we constantly face societal pressure and are expected to cater to tradition and norm.. how ardently I relate to "You are not young, Anymore. They say. As though I was curious As to what I was." Beautifully rendered.

(and thank you for your kind and sweet comment on my poem)๐Ÿ’ž

brudberg said...

And when I hear about 30 I know it's young... I remember those years vaguely (yet I feel part of me is young)... love how you expressed that angst... I think it gets less as we age.

tonispencer said...

The angst mos def does pass. Every year I get older, I feel younger. and I have passed at least 6 0f those 0 birthdays.

Grace said...

Age is just a number and youth is a state of mind and heart ~ Keep your heart young, smiles.

Shaista said...

Oh I’m so glad you relate! First people want to know how old we are and then they decide whether we are ‘young’, ‘not young’ or ‘old’! I hate answering the question of my age - which generally comes before the question of my name (which often is never asked).

Shaista said...

Yes I’m sure it will - these are the strange in between years - but as Sanaa points out, the societal pressure for women to look young and somehow never ever age is relentless.

Shaista said...

I will Grace :) thanks for reading x

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Age is indeed a state of mind. Inside I am eighteen, yet so much wiser as I pass more and more zero's. I love life and to me, a birthday is merely the day after the day before.
Anna :o]

Sherry Blue Sky said...

One is still a spring chicken in their thirties....and the awesome thing about life is we keep that young self inside us the whole way. I remember once watching my 90 year old grandmother dance a few steps, smiling, across the room and I saw right inside her to the young girl she once was.

Shaista said...

That wisdom is definitely the thing worth waiting for Anna!

Shaista said...

I love that image Sherry, thank you for sharing it!
Yes, I know this, and yet we still have to walk through these ages and the accompanying social commentary on our bodies and our numbers..

Frank Hubeny said...

One can be happy at any age--or sad. Sometimes people rush others too much.

Shaista said...

Thanks Frank - all these comments are so full of wisdom! ‘Sometimes people rush others too much’ - that’s such a compassionate truism.

Sarah Russell said...

Like Sherry said, we stay the same age inside. Both good and bad. I thought I might be wise in my 70s. I’m not at all sure I am.

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