Menopause Poem by Adair Lara


Adair Lara sent this phresh poem to me, and got me thinking I need to banish people-pleasing from my life far in advance of menopause. You? And start self basting in this Bulgarian hotel I call my body.

Adair connects me to another time and place – to the refreshingly honest voice of Annie Lamott’s Operating Instructions, which I clutched to my bosom like a bible before my kids were born. Finally, a mom who tells the truth. Now the kids are getting older and a new part of the women’s life cycle presents itself to me… namely, hormonal chaos. Actually, pregnancy and post-partum was rather hormonally chaotic too, but in a different way. I had a precious new life that kept me focused.

Adair Lara reminds me of the rugged, hilarious, wise and seamed women I love from Alaska who live fully, boldly and without qualification. She is the author of 13 bold books, including Naked, Drunk and Writing (Ten Speed Press, 2010).


The mother of all wake-up calls
After the hormones wear off like party drugs
The house is rewired
By a blind and maybe drunk electrician
Sparks are flying
The thermostat’s out of whack
It’s like living in a Bulgarian hotel

Still. The craziest hotel has its dance band.
I see you there in your little black dress
And little black mood.
You got back from Bangkok with new eyes,
just in time for your first granddaughter
to be born with your old eyes.
You can now turn your head side to side
Say no in several languages.
Oh, the forgotten pleasure
Of not pleasing.
You who skipped Ivanhoe and parallelograms
take night classes and sit up front.
Making yourself sharp and sure for
that woman in the glass.  

The to-do list has changed
Do become self-basting.
Do buy yourself roses
And hang one over an ear.
Don’t  finish books if you don’t like ‘em
Don’t examine thighs in tooth-paste flecked glass
Do stroll in the dark up Kilimanjaro
Write books start tea shops paint wild canvases?  

  — Adair Lara