Ted Hughes

Old Age Gets Up

Stirs its ashes and embers, its burnt sticks
An eye powdered over, half melted and solid again
Ponders
Ideas that collapse
At the first touch of attention
The light at the window, so square and so same
So full-strong as ever, the window frame
A scaffold in space, for eyes to lean on
Supporting the body, shaped to its old work
Making small movements in gray air
Numbed from the blurred accident
Of having lived, the fatal, real injury
Under the amnesia
Something tries to save itself-searches
For defenses-but words evade
Like flies with their own notions
Old age slowly gets dressed
Heavily dosed with death’s night
Sits on the bed’s edge
Pulls its pieces together
Loosely tucks in its shirt

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