Sunday, August 21, 2011

It’s Hard to Be Hip Over Thirty

Persephone Books publishes forgotten fiction and non-fiction by “unjustly neglected authors” and I recently read It’s Hard to be Hip over Thirty by Judith Viorst.   Viorst was writing poetry in the 60’s, but it hasn’t aged.  Some things have changed.  Options for women have opened up, certainly.  But being married and having children will always require the sacrifice of certain options.  I enjoyed reading her poetry.

Nice Baby

Last year I talked about black humor and the impact of the
     common market on the European economy and
Threw clever little cocktail parties in our discerningly
     eclectic living room
With the Spanish rug and the hand-carved Chinese chest
     and the lucite chairs and
Was occasionally hungered after by highly placed men in
     communications, but
This year we have a nice baby
     and pablum drying on our Spanish rug,
And I talk about nursing versus sterilization
While the men in communications
Hunger elsewhere.

Last year I studied Flamenco and had my ears pierced and
Served an authentic fondue on the Belgian marble table of
     our discerningly eclectic dining area, but
But this year we have a nice baby
And Spock on the second shelf of our Chinese chest,
And instead of finding myself I am doing my best
To find a sitter
For the nice baby banging the Belgian marble with his cup
While I heat the oven up
For the TV dinners.

Last year I had a shampoo and set every week and
Slept an unbroken sleep beneath the Venetian chandelier of
     our discerningly eclectic bedroom, but
This year we have a nice baby,
And Gerber’s strained bananas in my hair,
And gleaming beneath the Venetian chandelier,
A diaper pail, a portacrib, and him,
A nice baby, drooling on our antique satin spread
While I say how nice.  It is often said
That motherhood is very maturing.