From Chicken Soup for the Soul in Menopause

Wine Cooler

My trip back home was long awaited,

I crossed off every day.

The bus ride there was a delight,

air-conditioned, movies, back I lay.

Now this is the good way to travel,

no driving to worry about.

It even has a “potty” in back,

in case I’m not in drought.

I looked outside at passing trees,

and thought about my bags.

Maybe I should have packed a coat

‘cause all I brought were summer rags.

The bus did stop at our road’s end,

I saw my cousins there.

We embraced and I exclaimed,

“It sure is hot and fair!”

We did things every day outside,

and I melted bit by bit.

My cousin said “She is tough . . .

. . . she’ll get over it!”

Our final day there was a tour,

an age-old winery place.

It ended in the basement cooler,

even then I could feel my face!

I hid behind a strange, big guy,

for if my cousin saw me,

he would have made a spectacle

for all the world to see.

I could feel his eyes on me,

I saw the look of laughter.

Here it comes, get out quick!

Or I’ll hear it ever after.

It’s too late, I heard a voice!

It bellowed in the basement.

“Only you, my cousin girl

could hot flash in cool encasement!”

Every single person there

looked around to see

who it was with menopause . . .

And bright red face—that’s me!

All I could do was smile back,

at all the wine tour eyes.

Silence filled the echo room,

I must say something wise.

But mental-pause tiptoed in,

I couldn’t find a word.

Instead, my mouth betrayed me, and

my words were like lemon curd!

“It’s my menopause you see,

The heat has done me in.

My cousin put me on the spot

And now I’ll need some gin!”

Up the stairs I climbed as quick,

as my swollen legs could go,

and in the wake of my flying skirt,

they laughed a “HO HO HO!”

Glady Martin

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