Retiring at 65, you get a second wind.
Your mornings are tinkering.
Your afternoons are feet up watching classic 90s TV.
At Aintree, your black Crombie with a flash of red shirt,
draws You look cool man tributes from booted and suited lads;
and your trade mark hair, splendid as a crest,
has older men, smoothing bald-pates and sighing Nice cut mate.
At 59, I am winded by five months repeating revision litany
to private pupils at vespers hour;
bingeing in the car on Snickers for sugar spike to keep my eyes open;
carrying my weight gain with the shame of a 1950s unmarried mother.
At the Grand National, all I can throw together
is beige shift dress, dun coat, grey hat,
a pheasant hen’s dowdy plumage.
Whilst you glide on the current of such compliments,
I flap behind, trying with wing-clipped confidence,
to keep up with you.
Second Wind by Fiona Sinclair