Little Things on the Occasion of My 60th Birthday.

I’m going to admit to starting out this first day of my sixties feeling a little sorry for myself. Yes, I’d enjoyed a surprise birthday weekend with Studly on the gulf coast, but today was the DAY and I had nothing going on. No party. No family here (except for Studly). No cake. No dancing. Poor pitiful me.

My long time friend, Hunny, turned 60 on the third of this month with a flourish. Her kids threw a surprise party and there was live music and her grandbabies were in attendance. I might have felt a twinge, ok, a rush of envy, knowing there was no way I was going to be feted in such a manner.

But on my way to work this morning I got a FaceTime call from our youngest grandchild who sang her special version of Happy Birthday. Then in the office at the school where I’m working a second grade boy told me he thought I was pretty. Just out of the clear blue sky. When I thanked him and told him that today was my birthday he said, “Well, that explains everything!”

Throughout the day I’ve received  hundreds of birthday greetings from friends on WordPress and Facebook, and each one makes me smile. I also have two gifts to open later tonight and Studly has promised to take me to dinner. 

On my way home from work I was listening to John Fugelsang’s show and his guest, one of my favorite poets, Taylor Mali, read his poem, My Deepest Condiments. It was as if this poem was meant just for me today. So I’m feeling pretty awesome. No more pity party. It’s great to be 60. 

Here’s Taylor Mali. Enjoy.
Peace, people.

Me at 60.



Waits in a darkened doorway, hand on a cocked hip. Long practiced words roll off her lips. 

“Want some company, handsome?” she huskily purrs. He shakes his head, another demurs. 

She drags on her cigarette, poufs out her hair. Straightens her posture, drapes a bruised leg on a chair.

A noisy crowd leaves the theatre two blocks down. Exuberant young people out on the town.

Arms linked, hands clasped, giggling innocents still. She seeps into shadows, ashamed, a nil.

Imagines the life that might have been hers. Friendships and outings, instead of this curse.

An accident of birth, one careless stork’s drop. There, she smirks, go I, but for the grace of God.

Lunching Alone

Eating alone
at a booth meant for four
I watch in envy the
gaggle of women gathering
noisily for lunch.

They are older than I am,
sixties and seventies,
but I would join them
in a heartbeat if they but
said the word.

Do they realize how lucky
they are to have
whatever it is that bonds
I hope so.

Peace, people.

Deadlier Sins

Written in response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: 

Remember the seven cardinal sins? You’re given the serious task of adding a new one to the list — another trait or behavior you find particularly unacceptable, for whatever reason. What’s sin #8 for you? Why?

First students, let’s review those pesky seven deadly sins: 

My personal favorite–lust,
followed in order of the sins
to which I’ve succumbed
in order of frequency
from greatest to least:
sloth, (yes, i’m wicked lazy)
pride, (and darned proud of it,)
gluttony (i’ll toast again to that!)
with just a soupçon of
greed, wrath, and envy,
to make me truly interesting.

I nominate intolerance 
to take its rightful
place among these
numbered transgressions.
Divisive and shaming,
a barrier to peace;
bigotry makes no
loving concessions.

Peace, people.


left alone with
thoughts unwieldy
too intense for
this bright day
crushed beneath
thoughts of envy
will they always
hold this sway?

gathered close for
future’s telling
slowly ticking in
mad men’s hands
stop the clock and
start the living
mark the place
then heave the sand.

prayed, oh please
don’t let this nature,
keep me wrapped in
sifting through grayed
grainy photos
begging for my
soul’s surcease.