4.24.2010

The Pleasures of An Ordinary Life

I have written about this anthology and posted this poem before, but it bears repeating as I wind down the celebration of National Poetry Month. Judith Viorst has a series of poetry collections for each decade of life. With the rhythm of her words she reminds us of the ups,downs, antics, and losses of aging.  In Forever Fifty is a poem that always reminds me of why I like my life so much:

The Pleasures of An Ordinary Life
  I've had my share of necessary losses,
Of dreams I know no longer can come true.
I'm done now with the whys and the becauses.
It's time to make things good, not just make do.
It's time to stop complaining and pursue
The pleasures of an ordinary life.

I used to rail against my compromises.
I yearned for the wild music, the swift race.
But happiness arrived in new disguises:
Sun lighting a child's hair. A friend's embrace.
Slow dancing in a safe and quiet place.
The pleasures of an ordinary life.

I'll have no trumpets, triumphs, trails of glory.
It seems the woman I've turned out to be
Is not the heroine of some grand story.
But I have learned to find the poetry
In what my hands can touch, my eyes can see.
The pleasures of an ordinary life.

Young fantasies of magic and of mystery
Are over. But they really can't compete
With all we've built together: A long history.
Connections that help render us complete.
Ties that hold and heal us. And the sweet,
Sweet pleasures of an ordinary life.
  -Judith Viorst

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