You Will Know

You will know you’re truly old
when all dear friends are dead

I am citing Clive James
oft misread

I will not be defined ‘old’
when my step forward is short
promenading with shuffles
reduced stride

You may presume I’m old
when my flat-repeat of words
are ‘politely’ ignored

Then I’m misheard – my verse

I will never be old
foul-define your count of time

I will re-breathe youth’s warm air
and avoid stiffened rhyme

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