Happiness (Reconsidered)

Image result for happiness painting
Is a clean bill of health from the doctor,
And the kids shouldn’t move back home for
more than a year,
And not being audited, overdrawn, in Wilkes-Barre,
in a lawsuit or in traction.

Is falling asleep without Valium,
And having two breasts to put in my brassiere,
And not (yet) needing to get my blood pressure lowered,
my eyelids raised or a second opinion.

And on Saturday nights
When my husband and I have rented
Something with Fred Astaire for the VCR,
And we’re sitting around in our robes discussing,
The state of the world, back exercises, our Keoghs,
And whether to fix the transmission or buy a new car,
And we’re eating a pint of rum-raisin ice cream
on the grounds that
Tomorrow we’re starting a diet of fish, fruit and grain,
And my dad’s in Miami dating a very nice widow,
And no one we love is in serious trouble or pain,
And our bringing-up-baby days are far behind us,
But our senior-citizen days have not begun,
It’s not what I called happiness
When I was twenty-one,
But it’s turning out to be
What happiness is.


Poem by Judith Viorst




13 thoughts on “Happiness (Reconsidered)

  1. Loved the poem as I strongly represent what it says. When I recognized the name of the author, I knew I recognized it but didn’t know why, so I checked out her Wikipedia bio. Did you know that in 1968 Viorst signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War and she received the 2011 Foremother Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Research Center for Women & Families and still appears to be going strong at the ripe old age of 86? Think I’ll add her to my ever growing list of heroines! Here’s another good Viorst quote.

    “Superstition is foolish, childish, primitive and irrational – but how much does it cost you to knock on wood? “

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s the simple things that bring us contentment, but it takes a long while to come to that realization.

    Funny, I just recently rediscovered rum and raisin ice cream last week when my brother was here. Apparently it’s his favourite (I didn’t know that) and very hard to find. We found some in a local Chinese grocery store (of all places) and he was over the moon 🙂
    It was nice to have some again after so many years … but I think I’ll stick to black cherry (my favourite).

    Liked by 1 person

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