Pushing forty

Pushing forty
Just before winter
we see the trees show
their true colours:
the mad yellow of chestnuts
two maples like blood sisters
the orange beech
braver than lipstick

Pushing forty, we vow
that when the time comes
rather than wither
ladylike and white
we will henna our hair
like Colette, we too
will be gold and red
and go out
in a last wild blaze

Alison Fell

from Dreams, like heretics: new and selected poems (Serpent's Tail, 1997)

Reproduced by permission of the author.
Alison Fell

Alison Fell is a Scottish novelist, poet and journalist who lives in London. 

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About Pushing forty

National Poetry Day 2005 postcard Alison Fell

This poem was reproduced on a postcard for National Poetry Day 2005. Eight poetry postcards are published each year by the Scottish Poetry Library to celebrate National Poetry Day and are distributed throughout Scotland to schools, libraries and other venues. The theme for 2005 was the future. You can find out more about National Poetry Day in our National Poetry Day pages, where you'll also find resources to go with the poems.