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Judith Viorst

(February 2, 1931)

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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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