poetry by Shawn Aveningo Sanders
Gaia finds a discarded pamphlet blustering down a dry creek bed
like lonely tumbleweed: “Getting Through Menopause without Killing
Everyone You Love.” She decides to craft a letter to her maker.
It’s come to my attention that many of the uncomfortable and sometimes severe symptoms I’ve been experiencing these past few years are part of a natural cycle. I’ve seen the women, watched them huddle in their red tents to help and guide each other through difficult transition. I’ve eavesdropped as they share their woes. I see how I’m not so different (and alone)—
Like me, their flow has ceased; we both cried as the rivers dried.
Their hot flashes remind me of that record-breaking heat wave I had in San Francisco last year. What a scorcher. And not a fan to be found.
My tectonic plates have been shifting and it feels like my middle is expanding. I may trade that broken down Sphinx for some Spanx. It seems to be popular among women of a certain age.
And these torrential mood swings: one minute, I’m all cool breezes and gallant glaciers gliding, and the next I feel like burning down the entire forest. I’m afraid I might hurt someone.
I’m also worried about flooding. Sometimes it’s just a trickle—like when all that pollen kicks up— Achoo! I fear the dam may burst, or worse.
Procreation is a bit painful these days. But I don’t feel comfortable going into all that with you right now . . . [awkward]
I’m going to call Venus later and see how’s she doing. We might start a support group if there’s enough interest. Ciao for now.
All my love.
Shawn Aveningo Sanders started out as show-me girl from Missouri and after a bit of globetrotting finally landed in Portland, Oregon. She is a widely published poet who can’t stand the taste of coconut, eats pistachios daily and loves shoes—especially red ones! (The Red Shoe Poet) Shawn’s work has appeared in over 130 literary journals and anthologies. She’s a Pushcart nominee (2015), Best of the Net nominee (2017), co-founder of The Poetry Box, managing editor for The Poeming Pigeon. She also served as journal designer/webmaster for VoiceCatcher (2015-16) and was winner of the first poetry slam in Placerville, California (2012). Shawn is a proud mother of three and shares the creative life with her husband in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon.