What I'm learning about menopause

a poem of honesty, humor, and self-loathing

What I’m learning about menopause

The strangest thing has just occurred—

You may not know, you haven’t heard—

what happens to women late in life,

we who have handled pleasure and strife.


Thousands of cookies we have baked,

Thrown lots of parties filled with cake,

consumed pasta, coffees, and drinks—

oh, the potlucks!—it makes you think:

no wonder my midriff is a tire

and nothing fits from my old attire.


My thighs are jiggly, my underarms flap.

My energy wanes—I just want to nap.

I’m hot in a sweater, I’m hot all the time,

I’m moody and ornery; I’m not so sublime.

My face, spotted brown under hair growing thin,

I look like my mother—when did this begin?


My body has settled at delivery weight.

Its padding and curves I have now come to hate.

And oh, my brain!—you can’t ask me to

remember names or what things I should do.


I’m changing my fitness to support my wish,

adjusting my diet to salads and fish.

I’m cutting the gluten, the sugar, and such,

and adding the oils—oh, it’s all just too much!


These adjustments are normal for menopause;

so hear me out, then give me applause–

I’m older but wiser; this much is true:

the secret to joy is perspective anew.

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