On the Slope

On the Slope
I cling to the railings as befits my station:
a senior person slipping slowly downhill. 

The world no longer our oyster,
gone are the safaris of yesteryear,

the all-night parties, ice-skating 
in the blurry light of dawn…

But perpetual youth? Think: the sense 
of déjà vu, potions for complexion

and performance, the strain
of staying abreast of fashion. 

part consolation, the ungrudged ageing 
of loved ones, neither left behind

but each meeting the other’s eye,
enriched by what they’ve been through.

Whereas the mind roaming, and all 
forgotten, pray for merciful oblivion. 

The one sure adage: Bette Davis’s
no-shit ‘Growing old sure ain’t for sissies!’
Stewart Conn

from Ghosts at Cockcrow (Bloodaxe, 2005)

Reproduced by permission of Bloodaxe Books.
Stewart Conn

Stewart Conn was the inaugural Edinburgh City Makar from 2002 to 2005. He is a poet and playwright, with more than a dozen collections of poetry; The Touch of Time: new & selected poems was published in 2014.  

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