Poetry Page

Red Hat Roos


by Jenny Joseph

With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit


An excerpt Taken from the book
When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple
Edited by Sandra Martz
Papier Mache Press--Watsonville, California 1987



The Red Hat Society
began in the USA, as a
result of a few women
deciding to greet middle
age with verve, humor,
and elan. We believe
silliness is the comedy
relief of life, and, since we
are all in it together, we
might as well join
red-gloved hands and go
for the gusto together.
Underneath the frivolity,
we share a bond of
affection, forged by
common life experiences
and a genuine enthusiasm
for wherever life takes us


When I'm a little old lady
Then I'll live with my children
and bring them great joy.

To repay all I've had
from each girl and boy
I shall draw on the walls
and scuff up the floor;
Run in and out
without closing the door.

I'll hide frogs in the pantry,
socks under my bed.

Whenever they scold me,
I'll hang my head.

I'll run and I'll romp,
always fritter away
The time to be spent
doing chores every day.

I'll pester my children
when they are on the phone.

As long as they're busy
I won't leave them alone.

Hide candy in closets,
rocks in a drawer,
And never pick up my clothes
from the floor.

Dash off to the movies
and not wash a dish.

I'll plead for allowance
whenever I wish.

I'll stuff up the plumbing
and deluge the floor.
As soon as they've mopped it,
I'll flood it some more.

When they correct me,
I'll lie down and cry,
Kicking and screaming,
not a tear in my eye.

I'll take all their pencils
and flashlights, and then
When they buy new ones,
I'll take them again.

I'll spill glasses of milk
to complete every meal,
Eat my banana and
just drop the peel.

Put toys on the table,
spill jam on the floor,
I'll break lots of dishes
as though I were four.

What fun I shall have,
what joy it will be to
Live with my children....
the way they lived with me!

~author unknown~