Fetch me ten persons aged eighty,
Would you please?
They can be marathon-runners
Or sufferers, wracked by disease,
They can be grandparents (or great-grandparents)
Or the last of their line,
They can be lucid, and sharp,
Or not quite of their mind.
No matter. Go, and fetch me ten,
Then line ’em up like a conga,
Then measure the line; it won’t be longer,
I don’t think, than a few metres
(Maybe more for a wheelchair or zimmer);
But that distance will be equal
To the distance we’ve strayed
Away in time
From the Fifth Crusade.