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Stephanie Lundorff


stephanie lundorff readingMean, Mean, Menopause

Here comes another one.
Rushing tide of heat to the forehead,
sweat prickling the upper lip.
I drag the ice pack from my midriff.
“This isn’t fair,” I whisper.

It’s midnight, and I lay awake, blinking at the darkness.
Sprawled here on the white sheets, the blinds
tap and click against the window frames.
Hot flashes, night sweats, memory lapses.
It’s changing me.

Yesterday, I couldn’t remember
why I had gotten into my car.
I sat in the driveway until my daughter
rode her bike up beside me.
“Whatcha doin’, Mom?” she asked over her shoulder.
She didn’t wait for an answer, but
disappeared into the garage.

Then there’s the temper,
a storm rising out of nowhere.
I keep my mouth shut—knowing
it wouldn’t be me talking.
What if I were to shriek something like,
“If you people are going to live here,
there’s gonna be some changes!”
I mean, how do you come back from that?

I guess that’s why old ladies get stoic.
They know that if they opened their mouth
in the middle of their rage, they might
incinerate the whole town,
send people flying in all directions,
turn buildings to flaming pyres.

After a while the hot flash ebbs.
Jim touches my hand briefly under the sheet,
like someone checking a doorknob to see if there’s
fire on the other side.

He snores quietly
beside me, and
I think

This isn’t fair.