A poem about some wonderful women

I’ve known some of these women since kindergarten.

After a Weekend With the Girls

And thank you for the laughter of middle-aged women:
the kind that bubbles up, bursts out, shakes down, fills in
and carries you away,
the guffaws, the giggles, the heart-holding-
breath-taking-pull-your-knees-together loss of control.
The laughter of middle-aged women
fills a hole.

When a roomful of middle-aged women erupts in laughter,
it echoes across halls and through alleys.
It puts its arms around you and jiggles bellies,
stomps feet and shakes heads.
It makes you want for more to blur the pain.
The laughter of middle-aged women
keeps you sane.

Laughter bubbles up from women’s bodies
that once made green boys do stupid things.
It clings to these moments of mirth,
knowing how days can turn into all kinds of loss
and how years move away and ghosts fill beds.
The laughter of middle-aged women
wakes the dead.

So, thank you for these women, these days of laughter:
the kind that chokes up, gasps for air, holds back,
hops on one foot and slaps a thigh,
the kind that asks for nothing but your stories,
the kind that gets big and round and soft and wise.
The laughter of middle-aged women
helps you rise.