Saturday, January 21, 2012

Three in the Morning, a poem by Judith Viorst.

Post 653 - Judith Stahl Viorst was born in Newark, NJ in 1931. She graduated from Rutgers University in 1952 and subsequently from the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute in 1981 where she’s now a research affiliate. She lectures widely on topics, ranging from the subjects of loss and control to children's literature. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband Milton, a political writer.
Viorst received an Emmy Award for poetic monologues written for a CBS television special, Annie, the Woman in the Life of a Man, in 1970. She received the Foremother Award for lifetime achievements from the National Research Center for Women & Families in 2011.
She says her first writing attempt when she was seven or eight was a poem to her dead mother and father - who were both actually alive and not particularly pleased with their poetic fate!

Three (O'Clock) in the Morning.

At three in the morning I used to be sleeping an untroubled
sleep in my bed.
But lately at three in the morning I'm tossing and turning,
Awakened by hypochondria, and gas, and nameless dread,
Whose name I've been learning. (worry)

At three in the morning I brood about what my cholesterol
count might reveal,
And the pains in my chest start progressing from gentle to racking,
While certain intestinal problems make clear that the onions
I ate with my meal
Plan on counter attacking.

At three in the morning I look toward the future with blankets
pulled over my ears,
And all of my basic equipment is distinctly diminished.
My gums are receding, my blood pressure's high, and I can't
begin listing my fears
Or I'll never get finished.
At three in the morning I used to be sleeping but lately I wake
and reflect

That my girlhood has gone and I'll now have to manage without it.
They tell me that I'm heading into my prime. From the previews
I do not expect
To be crazy about it.

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