On Medical Advice

This poem was written by my friend, Ted Hughes, when he was nearly 90 years old!

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 appals,
‘Cos you’re frightfully fit for your age.

You seem out of touch
As you lean on your crutch,
I’m afraid that 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 knew Ted for many years. The last time I saw Ted before his death, just after he had reached 92, he took me for a gourmet meal at a restaurant in the New Forest.

Despite my offer to take us in my car, Ted insisted on us going in his car. As we sped through the Hampshire countryside at speeds well in excess of the speed limit, I closed my eyes and said a prayer!

Somehow we managed to arrive safely – the angels must definitely been with us that day!

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

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