Daily Poem / Getting Older

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The Independent Online
The first surprise: I like it.

Whatever happens now, some things that used to terrify have not:

I didn't die young, for instance. Or lose my only love. My three children never had to run away from anyone.

Don't tell me this gratitude is complacent.

We all approach the edge of the same blackness which for me is silent.

Knowing as much sharpens my delight in January freesia, hot coffee, winter sunlight. So we say

as we lie close on some gentle occasion: every day won from such darkness is a celebration.

Elaine Feinstein grew up in Leicester. She has published more than 30 books, including fiction and biography, and written for radio and television. She was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1980 and in 1990 she received a Cholmondeley

Award. This poem appears in her collection Selected Poems, published by Carcanet at £9.95.

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