I was still young when I read the poem,
When I am old,
and I wondered why anyone would wait
to wear purple.
My wardrobe was saturated with purple—
shirts, jumpers, hats, coats, scarves and gloves.
Even purple shoes
(because life is too short to wear black,
my sister said when we were shoe shopping).
Is purple the color of old women
the way pink is the color of little girls?
Was my love of wearing purple a sign
that I was old before my time?
I wondered about other parts of the poem, too.
Why wait to gobble up samples in shops…
And learn to spit?
Perhaps it is an insight into my upbringing that
I thought store samples were for me and that
I learned to spit as a girl on the farm
(we had contests to see who could spit the furthest),
and I kept on spitting as a women runner.
No, wearing purple was never a sign that
I had become an old woman.
But when I was out for my walk the other day
(wearing my purple jacket, by the way)
and tripped and fell,
I knew I had crossed the a line
and had become
an old woman.