wordsout by Godfrey Rust                                       Welcome To The Real World  11 of 59 →  HOME     

Come on in, the sofa's lovely

When the belt around your belly sidles out another notch,
and the footballers on telly are the sons of those you watched,
when your clothes are back in fashion and you never even knew,
and the high point of your Saturday’s a trip to B&Q, 

when the grown-ups at your parties are outnumbered by their kids
and you notice that prime ministers look younger than they did,
when you catch yourself complaining that a programme goes too far
and insist a Ford Mondeo’s really quite a stylish car, 

when a hit song sounds like someone with a terminal disease
and you find that you’re agreeing with Conservative MPs,
when a singer makes a comeback and you didn’t know he’d gone
and your daughter’s latest boyfriend’s never heard of Elton John, 

when your favourite tv series only shows on UK Gold
and those other people at your school reunion look so old,
when you’re free to stay up partying all night, but somehow don’t
and your children are all big enough to wear your clothes, but won’t, 

when there’s no-one to complain about the company you keep
and the most seductive reason for an early night is sleep,
when you’d write your masterpiece if you’d the leisure to begin it
and you’d have a mid-life crisis if you only had a minute 

and you wonder what became of all that time that lay ahead
and all the things you could have done (and all the things you did instead),
then the hour has come at last to face the unforgiving truth
that your membership’s expired of that exclusive club of youth. 

Don't shake your balding head or stamp your Hush Puppies in rage—
look on it as maturing past that awkward, childish stage—
in the stuffing of life’s turkey, just accept that you’re the sage—
face the camera, smile and say that you’re approaching middle age… 

Godfrey Rust, godfrey@wordsout.co.uk. See here for details of permissions for use.