Our four legs ran as three

In lockdown, exercise means doing tai chi at home via Zoom, or walking round the nearby blocks time after time. Now, finally, the fully vaccinated can play a little croquet. One day recently I was overtaken by nostalgia for more athletic times…. So much so that I took to rhyme….

FIT AT ANY AGE

Survived the childhood trauma,/ The last pick for each team,

I keep hoping, now much older,/ To fulfil my fitness dream.

My tai chi moves are just okay,/ I stroll around the block,

I muddle round at croquet/ and fail to beat the clock.

Arthritic and asthmatic,/ Excuses ever mounting,

Shortsighted, unathletic/ 78 and counting…

But do I lose heart, do I sigh/ At losing all the time?

Never! I remember/ The glory of my prime.

At the Beulah Park Sports Day,/ 1989,

They marvelled at our triumph/ My friend Lynette’s and mine.

My friend Lynette

Oh, what an exhibition/Of pluck and nerve and grace

To fulfil our life’s ambition/ And come first in a race.

Our ankles taped together,/ Our four legs ran as three,

Three-legged champions/ My friend Lynette and me.

In case you think we’re fibbin/ The proof is here to see:

A green winner’s ribbon/ For Lynette Wright and me.

Three-legged winners’ trophy, Beulah Park Sports Day

PENELOPE NELSON

October 2021