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It’s HOT!
Or I’m menopausal…
Who knows?  Not I.

Hormones pounding through my veins
Out of sorts from age and pain and this body,
This body that hurts my brain!

“What a nice day,” a voice says over the line.
“Is it,” I ask, “in what way?”
“It gorgeous, you should take a walk today.”

How I want to scream, “I CAN’T WALK!!!!”
Well not anymore anyway, and I can’t forget.
My body feels my calves burn and starts to sweat.

I take a walk; slow and short to the ice box.
Small steps to find an ice pack —
One for under the pillow; one for under my back.

Then a friend calls; she is like me.
We chat each day; we are close –
Unlike BFF’s, we’ve not got time to be verbose.

The computer emits rays that kill her
As do the phone and all the things with latex these days –
But in our limitations we find comfort away from life’s clichés.

“Are you ready?” she asks.
“I’ve been waiting all day.” Then she replies,
“Where shall we go in this world of friendly skies”?

“Anywhere,” I say with glee, “You pick, you pick!”
Then she begins to speak slowly; we close our eyes and
Begin a walk past red rivers and blue French fries.

We enter a forest, the shade feels nice.
Soon there is a clearing; we stop, we sit, we eat
On pink grass purple marshmallows so sweet.

We stay there a while and think about things —
How much we have to live for
No matter what it brings or how challenging the chore.

Then we are off again walking over a bridge a mountain high –
How we’ve got up here I’ve no idea,
But my brain doesn’t ask how or why.

We are just here, looking down at this world
Of paisley clouds and turquoise cornfields –
And I wonder how much popcorn each one yields.

I think how grateful I am to be able to travel so far
With such ease and such a fine friend –
I let out a sigh hoping it will never end.

But soon she whispers, “There’s a portal we must pass through.”
I hesitate, I so want to refuse. But she is there,
She will come too, but before we go, we both must swear…

I swear to be kind to those who can’t understand,
I swear to be patient with those who have none,
I swear to do this until this day is done.

“I swear,” we both say in a whisper
Then we grasp each other’s hand tightly and
Jump through the portal – and I feel a sweat gland.

All while I’m gone my body does not sweat –
It does not ache, it does not protest.
A quiet giggle as I think life must jest…

There are those who’s sickness is all in their head –
They are fine if only they could see…
For me, pain is real; it will not flee,

Except for the journeys my friend and I take
When our bodies feign health and vigor and strength –
When, for a while each day, we keep reality at arm’s length.

And for those who might say, “See it’s not so bad,
Just stay in that place you journey to through the day.”
I hand them my shoes and say simply,

“Show me please, how this is done.”
There is sarcasm in my voice and I remember my vow,
But honestly I would love to know how…

My body sweats and I reach for a fan –
It’s fruitless, soon my shirt will be wet with a salty brew
And I will walk my short walk for an ice pack or two.

For now I continue the rest of my day
Looking forward to tomorrow when my friend will say,
So softly and sweetly, “Where shall we go today?”