Judith Viorst is the bestselling author of Forever Fifty and Suddenly Sixty. She continues to explore the decade markers of age with this breezy and hilarious collection of poems. There is plenty of spunk on these pages as well as accurate observations on aging in a country where everyone seems to want to be forever young.
Poems comment on marriage, sex, middle-aged children, and grandchildren. At 70, Viorst winces at all the pain and expense of keeping her teeth: "I wonder if maybe I should have at least considered / A water glass and a set of removable teeth." Although it is a pain to take off her glasses and miss seeing things, it does at least make physical flaws less glaring.
In "The Secret of Staying Married," Viorst notes: "Still married after all these years? / No mystery, / We are each other's habit, / And each other's history." Even so, the poet marvels how couples can overlook each other's old tapes that are playing over and over again like her tiresome bit as a driving coach and his hatred of opera ("he'd prefer having a prostate exam"). Still, Viorst vows to learn "a new trick or two" and to keep trying to improve herself no matter what.