Julia Griffin


Ballade of Unchanging Bewilderment

I still have rather adolescent skin;
My shoes are just the same, although re-soled;
I’ve always had a taste for Vera Lynn;
I’ve never favored necklines you’d call bold,
Or worn the bottoms of my trousers rolled—
It’s natural to fear one might be stung,
And what about one’s ankles catching cold?—
But how did everybody get so young?

My shape has shifted, but continues thin;
I’ve found a cost-free method to uphold
My undeniably descending chin
And dewlaps: they’re invisibly controlled
By well-positioned fingers, which enfold
My upper neck until it’s lightly wrung;
I’d call my teeth a subtle primrose-gold;
But how did everybody get so young?

It’s true these days the circles where I spin
Tend rather to excuse the past than scold,
But that’s not all I take an interest in:
I’ve learned new words, or roles for them, like “scrolled”;
I will say “guys,” to females, if cajoled,
And “cool” once more is tripping from my tongue;
I’ve learned to text quite plausibly, all told:
But how did everybody get so young?

Prince, I implore you, through a layer of mold—
Preserve those bygone ways to which I’ve clung:
I’m not (so please stop waiting for it) old
But how did everybody get so young?

Julia Griffin lives in the southeast of Georgia, USA, and/or the south-east of England. She shares her Georgia life with a walrus who masquerades as a basset hound