Excerpt from Suddenly Sixty by Judith Viorst, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Suddenly Sixty

And Other Shocks of Later Life

by Judith Viorst

Suddenly Sixty by Judith Viorst X
Suddenly Sixty by Judith Viorst
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    Sep 2000, 80 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Suddenly Sixty

It's Harder to Be Frisky Over Sixty

Inside my shoes and my panty hose
I've painted blue nail polish on my toes,
A skirmish in the war that I wage
Against the constraints of my current age.
Despite the advent of Medicare,
I will still buy bikini underwear
And scorn the notion that seniorhood
Means it's too late to be up to no good.

I would if I could.

Don't give me extra time to walk down the jetway.
And please don't get up and give me your seat on the bus.
I'd rather be engagée than Emeritus,
Though it's harder to be frisky over sixty.

I'm not prepared to sign up for Elderhostel.
Retirement communities? Save your brochures.
I'll keep right on trucking as long as my strength endures,
Though it's harder to be frisky over sixty.

I'm standing firm against the Early Bird Special.
I'm out on the dance floor strutting what's left of my stuff.
I'd rather say never say die than enough is enough,
Though it's harder to be frisky over sixty.

I don't intend to stop showing a little cleavage.
Nor do I intend to stop flashing a little thigh.
I'm still not too old to give it the old college try,
Though it's harder to keep trying,
And it's harder to keep trucking,
And it's harder to be frisky over sixty.

The Blissful Couple

They laugh together.
Read together.
Dance together.
Paint together.
Listen to music together.
Walk, holding hands, together.

They love exchanging

He rushes to greet her,
His arms outstretched,
Joyfully calling her name,
When he sees her arrive.

Who, you are wondering,
Is this blissful couple?
She is his grandma.
He is almost five.

The New Alphabet

A's for arthritis.
B's for bad back.
C is for chest pains. Corned beef? Cardiac?
D is for dental decay and decline.
E is for eyesight -- can't read that top line.
F is for fissures and fluid retention.
G is for gas (which I'd rather not mention)
And other such gastrointestinal glitches.
H is high blood pressure.
I is for itches.
J is for joints that are failing to flex.
L's for libido -- what's happened to sex?
Wait! I forgot about K for bad knee.
(I've got a few gaps in my M -- memory.)
N's for nerve (pinched) and neck (stiff) and neurosis.
O is for osteo --.
P's for -- porosis.
Q is for queasiness. Fatal? Just flu?
R is for reflux -- one meal becomes two.
S is for sleepless nights counting my fears.
T is for tinnitus bells in my ears.
U is for difficulties urinary.
V is for vertigo.
W's worry
About what the X -- as in X ray -- will find.
But though the word "terminal" rushes to mind,
I'm proud, as each Y -- year -- goes by, to reveal
A reservoir of undiminished Z -- zeal --
For checking the symptoms my body's deployed,
And keeping my twenty-six doctors employed.

  • 1

Copyright © 2000 by Judith Viorst

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Speak No Evil
    Speak No Evil
    by Uzodinma Iweala
    Young Nigerian American writer Uzodinma Iweala is fast becoming known as a powerful chronicler of ...
  • Book Jacket: Winter
    by Ali Smith
    "God was dead; to begin with." This first sentence of Winter perfectly sets up the dreamy journey ...
  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

  • Book Jacket: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Sometimes I Lie
    by Alice Feeney

    This brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something a lie if you believe it's the truth?
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One N U G

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.