the weekly

Long Life

Ike was born, same year as you;
They opened up the Forth Bridge, too.

Van Gogh committed suicide;
The first electric chair was tried.

Ho Chi Minh was first shown off;
And Groucho Marx. And Molotov.

The cardboard box first came to be;
The world was shamed by Wounded Knee.

Pasternak was first presented;
Luxembourg was first invented.

County Cricket gained its clearance;
De Gaulle put in his first appearance.

Michael Collins, Jelly Roll:
Both arrived, perfected, whole.

Agatha Christie and Stan Laurel
Breathed their first. You could not quarrel

With their genius, could you, Lizzie?
Your birth-year was, like others, busy.

The daughter of two former slaves,
We see, through you, how time behaves:

Your life was blameless, not depressing,
Private, simple – all a blessing.

Someone else has died this week,
But he's a footnote. Let's not speak

Of what he did and did not do.
Lizzie, this time belongs to you.

Associated Press Story and picture

Long Life
The oldest woman in the world, Lizzie Bolden, died, aged 116 years and 118 days. She had 220 great-great-great-grandchildren and 75 great-great-great-great-grandchildren. General Pinochet also died.
13 December 2006


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