Heather Deckner

Retirement Plans

For Karin, my fellow escapee

In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit.
Above all, don’t wobble. Yün-Men
I have no desire to wear purple –
it has never been my colour–
and I’ve always disliked the taste of brandy.
Please don’t recite that poem at my funeral.
When the tenth person asks about my plans
I am tempted to invent a bucket list
of cruises, balloon flights and white water rafting.
I shall garden and cook and sew,
write letters and poems,
read and walk on the hills
and occasionally just sit and consider.
No, I don’t anticipate boredom.
Please don’t suggest voluntary work;
as we used to say in my office
“I have no spare capacity”.
Of course I have some sort of aim,
to do all I do with perfect attention.
I shall watch the bee buzzing in the foxglove,
the blackbird splashing in her bath,
the red admiral absorbing sun-soaked stone.
I shall try not to worry –
I have a tendency that way –
about money or health or being left alone.
When the next person asks what my plans are
I shall answer “Not to wobble”.

Heather Deckner (née Tracy) was born and grew up in Bath, read English Language and Literature at the University of Manchester and gained a PGCE at the University of
Oxford. She manged a bookshop in Oxford until moving back to the West Country in 1987, where she worked for 26 years as an Administrator for a trade union. She has had poems published in Resurgence, The Dawntreader and Dream Catcher.