Other Side of Ninety, The (Song for Betty)
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Wakes before the sunrise every morning
Slowly down the stairs and through the hall
Since he passed away there’s no-one there to call her name
This quiet’s not so peaceful after all
Hers was just the quiet kind of courage
The kind that doesn’t boast or self-proclaim
That saves itself for others, and asks for no reward
But holds the world together just the same

Everyone remarks how well she’s doing
Never known to grumble or to frown
But the other side of ninety, her life’s out on a limb
And the clocks inside her heart are running down

Brochures for a cruise she’s never taken
Catalogues for clothes she’ll never wear
Plans to see the family – surprise them one more time
But oh, it’s such a long long way up there
The ghosts are moving closer by the hour
She nods asleep each time she turns the page
She used to love the garden but now it’s overgrown
It’s all too much for someone of her age

Dreaming of those heady years in Cairo
Sahara days with family and friends
Working for security as the world went off to war
And Gemini marks where the moonbeam ends
Meets the man who’ll take her to the future
Portraits of a soldier and his bride
Sixty years together through the storms before the calm
To the waters of Cwm Bychan side by side

Rob Griffith (July 2012)