Animals are easy. I can do penguin waddle,
hoppy frog, snappy croc. And Actions – all
those ings – dancing, eating, sleeping – are a doddle.
It’s Objects that test me to my limits. To become guitar
I must hollow out the sound-hole of my heart;
open the door of myself to become room;
let go of love to lift the lighthearted balloon
How get the measure of myself and become ruler?
Where’s the river god to turn me into tree? How flower?
Animals, Actions, Objects – we put the cards back in the tin.
Quick as a flash I’m gran.
About this poem
In 2015 the Scottish Poetry Library commissioned poets Douglas Dunn, Vicki Feaver and Diana Hendry to write on the theme of age. Their poems appear together in Second Wind as part of the Saltire Society's pamphlet series. The project as a whole is supported by The Baring Foundation, as one of its series of 'Late Style' artist commissions.