Flash in the Pan


A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights

The M Word


by Maggie Manning

I don't bleed anymore; I no longer yearn. The monthly tug on my ovaries and womb to produce a child - that has ended, abruptly. I had thought I was ready for it, emotionally and physically, but I wasn't. I'm not.

What kind of woman no longer bleeds, no longer ovulates, no longer prepares her body each month for a new life? An old woman, I guess. But not yet; old will come, but now middle age encroaches on my fantasy of youth. Well, not even youth, really. Maybe young middle age or something not so redolent of fall, or fading luster, of shutting down, shutting off. Another sign of the end.

I keep thinking, this or that, in this case, menopause, will not happen to me. But it does. This or that do, in fact, happen. And so I continue the inevitable slide down into old age, senescence, death. To paraphrase John Donne, the bell tolls for me, and I can hear it ringing more clearly every day.

Maggie Manning is among the mass of menopausal women living lives of (not so) quiet desperation.

Twelfth Flash


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The Winner by Betty Allison


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