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AllClear’s Poetry Competition Winner: Growing Old Gracefully – Theresa Lees 

AllClear Team
Last updated 16 December 2019
Beach photo for Growing Old Gracefully - Theresa Lees 

Growing Old Gracefully

I’ve had a full life, loved, lost and cried

Experienced joy and laughter, shame and pride

Made friends and enemies, acted false and true

But there is one thing, I refuse to do

Growing old gracefully is a no go

I live life in the fast lane, but maybe a bit slow

Here’s a message, I wish to convey

Grow old gracefully?  No bl**dy way


A baby in a pram makes people bill and coo

But if you’re on a zimmer frame, they ignore you

When a young girl wiggles past, the men turn and stare

When an old lady limps past, they look elsewhere

When I walk past, you had better take care

Don’t look the other way, don’t you dare

Just look at me, I’ve got style

Look and admire, and I will smile

I’m not old, just getting on a bit

There is no way, that I am past it

I may look past my prime, but looks can deceive

What I can get up to, you won’t believe

Come and join me, and I’ll lead you astray

Grow old gracefully?  No bl**dy way


An old man on a park bench, watching children play

Is regarded with suspicion, in the world today

Looking at pretty girls, as any young man can

But if you’re a pensioner, you’re a dirty old man

Are we women, classed the same way

What do people think, when our eyes stray?

If you must give us a label, don’t be unkind

Call us Cougars, and perhaps we won’t mind

Come and join us all, in a sensual war dance

Grow old gracefully?  No bl**dy chance


Down memory lane, I want to return

For those youthful years, my heart does yearn

Trips to the seaside, by coach or train

Splashing in the water, without rheumatic pain

The innocence of youth has passed me by

I’m older and wiser and will be till I die

But I’ll not die gracefully, life is too short

I may even start work, as a female escort

You know by now, what I’m going to say

Grow old gracefully?  No bl**dy way


I want to wing walk, way up in the sky

Travel to Tibet, and climb mountains high

Jump out of a plane, and feel the thrill

Swim the channel, that would be brill

Run the marathon, at my own pace

Because there’s no chance, of winning the race

My body won’t always do, what my brain tells it to

But growing old gracefully is strictly taboo


I want to sail around the world, with an all-male crew

And paint my Captain’s cabin, 50 shades of blue

I may be getting on, but the passion remains

The blood of desire still flows through my veins

On the outside, I may look old and grey

But inside a flame burns, leading me astray

I will grow old disgracefully, living life at a fast pace

Then fade away exhausted, with a smile on my face


– Theresa Lees 

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