I can see the future pushing a trolley at Asda,
with a red face and a paunch and corned-beef for lunch.
Peering over the wrong specs to count through coppers.
Will I go bald, grey and greasy, like that little man?
Will my cheeks become saddlebags for carrying old stories
and my eyes develop sacks to store unfulfilled visions?
Will my waist be wider than my chest and my arse disappear?
Will there come a day when I can’t straighten my fingers?
Will I take minutes or longer to pick up something I dropped on the floor?
Will I walk on the flat to avoid all those steps?
Will I stop partway for a quick squirt of my spray?
Will I struggle up the hills with pockets full of haemorrhoid pills?
Will I need a stick or a frame, or one of those wheely, motorised chairs,
with a plastic hood and a little dog in a basket?
Will I sit on the toilet waiting . . . and waiting?
Will I have false teeth that fit badly,
and click or whistle when I talk?
Will I wear a hearing aid and say “what?” a lot?
Will I take to wearing a cardigan, shirt, vest and frayed jacket,
along with comfy trainers and trousers pulled high?
Will my balding head clash with my hairy ears and nose?
Will my musical taste stop after 1987
and comedians not be so funny any more?
Will I decide that this new stuff isn’t my type of thing?
Will I visit the corner shop in carpet slippers
and miss a bit when I shave?
Will friends hear my name and say, “He used to be . . .”?
Or will it be possible to conquer the future,
and hold it back with five-a-day and face-ercise?
Will I beat time with Tai Chi and attitude?
Will my future be pushing a trolley at Asda,
red-faced and paunchy amongst the tins and tea?
Will I grow old, or will I grow me?