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

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Suddenly Sixty

And Other Shocks of Later Life

by Judith Viorst

Suddenly Sixty
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  • Published:
    Sep 2000, 80 pages

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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.

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Copyright © 2000 by Judith Viorst

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