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Growing Old – a poem by Nanette Newman

Blog | By Nanette Newman | May 02, 2024

Nanette Newman in April 2024

Growing Old – a poem by Nanette Newman

Growing old is like a career –

only a career you didn’t train for

you didn’t expect –

and you certainly didn’t want.

This ‘new’ career – creeps up on you –

And surprises you.

For instance -

You find yourself saying new lines, like –

‘Everything looks a bit blurry’

‘Why do my legs hurt me?’

‘Why do my arms have flabby bits?’

‘Why can’t I run any more?’

‘Why do people speak so quietly?’

‘Why is my iPad such a mystery?’

(even though my six-year-old Grandson has shown me how to work it ‘ten’ times)

And ‘why do people hide my house keys?’

Also you suppose this New career (Growing Old) is going to

Have a long run, but

Showbusiness being what it is –

It could come to a sudden end –

(but perhaps best not to think about that).

Anyway - if it does run -

You hope the notices are ‘good’

Critics might say ‘you look good for your age’

But - this is not the role you’d chosen to play.

Anyway it seems you’re stuck with it –

And let's face it you have been rehearsing for it for many years!

When you think about it -

Theres a bit of ‘Agatha Christie’ about

This new part - for instance –

Skirts hanging in the wardrobe

Suddenly get smaller –

Round the waist -

Something mysterious changes

The colour of your hair -

Chairs try and hold on to you - so that

You can’t get out of them –

Why is print smaller?

Why do you look forward

to a hot water bottle at night?

(that’s definitely climate change)

Also, what is filling your body with liquid –

So that you have to pee all night?

(This definitely needs more research).

Your new career

‘Being Old’

Has a long list of questions

Surrounding it - to be

Honest – the part is not

Really very well written –

And doesn’t have much

Appeal – ( no wonder Judi Dench turned it down).

You ask yourself –

Is the character you

Are now going to play

Wiser? – no – I don’t think so –

Funnier? Only unintentionally –

Like – when you forget

Where you’re going – or

Throw your arms round

The plumber, because

You thought he was your

Friend's husband, come

Round because he’d

Found your glasses.

Anyway, how long you’ll be

Playing this part (you

Don’t want to play) –

You’ve no idea.

You don’t feel the

Rehearsals have been

‘long enough’.

Some of the cast

(the even older members

Have already left the

Production) –

You miss them.

So – this is a step

into the unknown

in your ‘new career’

a new part to play.

Will it have a ‘long run’?

Who knows

But there you go

‘That’s Showbusiness’

So – Here we are.

By Nanette Newman, starring in ‘Old Age’. Wish me luck – I’ll try and enjoy it!