On Medical Advice

I received this poem from my friend, Ted Hughes, written when he was 87 years old (in 2001)

Come in, Mr Hughes,
I have all your news,
And I’ve fully considered each page,
Although you look pale
For an octogenarian male,
You’re surprisingly good for your age.

A spoonful of rum
For your vociferous tum,
No fantasies should you engage,
When you feel ‘fit to kill’
Keep taking the pill,
But you’re really quite good for your age.

Tho’ you’re weak at the knees
And you spill when you sneeze,
Calm yourself and try not to rage,
Ignore golf course calls,
When your putting appalls,
‘Cos you’re frightfully fit for your age.

You seem out of touch
As you lean on your crutch
I’m afraid you’ve now reached that stage,
As you gaze at your bed,
Don’t wish you were dead,
You’re alive and so good for your age.

Just think of the past,
As long as you last,
‘Til your real self bursts from its cage,
Absolutely no doubt
The old body’s worn out,
But you’re oh so good for your age.

Go home now, dear boy,
And think of the joy,
All those years of minimum wage,
The times when you could
Contribute much good,
Keep it up, all is well for your age.

I remember Ted, when I last visited him in his 90th year (the last time that I saw him). He took me to lunch at a very exclusive and expensive Hotel.

He insisted on driving us there in his own car. The hotel was some distance from his home and as we sped through the town at speeds well in excess of 70mph I closed my eyes and said my prayers!

But God was with us and somehow we managed to arrive at the hotel (and back to Ted’s home) safely.

Ted made his final journey when he was 91 – I shall never forget him as we had been friends for more than 35 years.

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