Starting On Monday

By: Judith Viorst

Starting on Monday, I'm living on carrots and bouillon.
Starting on Monday I'M bidding the bagel adieu.
I'm switching for Hersheys with almonds to gaunt and anemic,
And people will ask me could that skinny person be you.
I'll count every calorie from squash (half a cup, 47)
To life savers (8), stalk of celery (5), pepper ring (2),
Starting on Monday.

Starting on Monday I'll jog for a mile in the morning.
(That's after the sit-ups and push-ups and touching my toes.)
The gratification I once used to seek in lasagna
I'll find on the day I have to go buy smaller clothes.
I'll turn my attention from infantile pleasures like Clark Bars
To things like the song of a bird and the scent of a rose,
Starting on Monday.

Staring on Monday my will will be stronger than brownies,
And anything more than an unsalted egg will seem crude.
My inner-thigh fat and upper-arm flab will diminish.
My cheeks will be hollowed, my ribs will begin to protrude.
The bones of my pelvis will make their initial appearance-
A testament to my relentless abstention from food,
Starting on Monday.

But Tuesday a friend came for coffee and brought homemade muffins.
And on Wednesday I had to quit jogging because of my back.
On Thursday I read in the paper an excess of egg yolk
Would clog up my vessels and certainly cause an attack.
On Friday we ate at Goldfarbs. She always makes cream sauce,
And always gets sulky if people don't eat what she makes.
On Saturday evening we went with the kids to a drive-in.
I begged for a Fresca but all they were selling were shakes.
On Sunday my stomach oozed over the top of my waistband,
And filled with self-loathing I sought consolation in pie
And the thought that Onassis could bribe me with yachts and with
Emeralds but still I'd refuse to taste even a single french fry...
Starting on Monday.