they told her
hot-flashes are bad
she couldn’t see how
feeling hot was an infuriation
she was always cold
when the first hot flash came
unbidden and sudden
like a white burning sword
the night she had sinned
by eating a little pizza
she believed at first it was retribution
for her transgression or
the heat of the night
but even the cicadas didn’t agree
the night was balmy and smooth
not on fire
and she
before her time
being too young
osteoporosis and heart disease a danger
for the youthful who inherit menopause early
the bed drenched
her arms feeling like wires of fire
inhabited them
throat sore and dry, wild eyed
she paced the cool floor
shaking and changing
hot to cold
this is too soon
her calcium levels complained
this is too early
her rapid heart beat whispered
not yet, surely not yet
the elasticity in her breasts and neck prayed
we do not
we are not
ready
for rapid ageing
she had noticed
the parchment quality of her hands
dried up like no rain had touched the sand
she had noticed her lack of desire and anxious thrum
thinking it was life
doing its worst as usual
when you experience what you read about
it’s always different in person
now it was her turn
to look back on a life
not yet nearly finished
as if she were further down
the endless conveyer belt already
skip love, marriage, pregnancy, first child
first lost tooth, baby puke
go straight to crone-hood
she told herself
this doesn’t mean your hair will thin
this doens’t mean your genitals will dim
this doesn’t mean your breasts will plunge
this doesn’t mean your waist will swell
this doesn’t mean you’ll never sleep well
this doesn’t mean you’ll catch fire
walking past sulpher
but deep down she knew
yes this is the precipise of all those things
wish I had a robust career to make up for
losing too soon
the other boons of life
wish I had a child in my arms
to comfort me when
I feel it’s over already before I found motherhood
this is the torch of an end
maybe a beginning but
of what?
she didn’t know
anymore than realizing
how a hot flash is not just two words
easily dismissed
but a raging foaming sea of fire
she stood
in the quiet bedroom
burning mute
a novel odd feeling for one
accustomed to saying
please turn down the air conditioning I’m frozen!
she had an sudden desire
to stand beneath a huge fan
to dive into ice
to peal off her skin
and in so doing lose
the disapointment of this too soon
I’m not ready
who is?
who is ready to say goodbye
to hopeful youth and dreams?
and they who are older than her
will say tomorrow when she confides
her bad luck
oh it’s not forever and
there’s a lot to look forward to
yes
she knows that
and still
there is a girl behind her
the shell from whom she has molted
a crysalis girl
dried out and sillouetted
against the fire
she is sad that she is not
still waiting for the moment
she will inherit herself
and must instead find a way to quench
this new
and terrible
desire
for
ice
with
her morning
coffee

0 Replies to “In the heat of the night”

  1. I was recently told my ovaries are shriveled up raisins now, by my gyn, I don’t want shriveled up raisins.
    This is great writing!

  2. Vivid imagery of what potential looks like and sometimes, many times, the harsh reality of what it actually turned out to be. ” a crysalis girl ” has so much potential for a series of paintings….it could be very powerful and heart touching! Thank you for sharing your gifts and taking us places we would never discover without you!

      1. My cycles have always been horrendous. I had my hysterectomy at 36 (one ovary remaining, no pregnancies ever). In March of this year my ovary twisted and died. I had emergency surgery to remove it. I was 44 (45 now). So, I am in full-blown Menopause. My ovary had shut down several months earlier, though. I apply something called Estrogel which has made me feel better. I think that ovary was poisoning me. So, from what I understand of you from your poem, we are both surprisingly young crones.

  3. I feel this so deeply. I have been blessed with children, but still feel the fear of aging too soon, if there is such a thing… Wrinkles magically appeared while other things disappeared, creaky joints instead of booze and joints, lol 😉

  4. I was told I had I had a hysterectomy but my memory fails as I had too many ECTs. That’s not a period in your life to remember, yet not something you want to forget either when you’re a woman.in her 20’s.
    This is a stunning poem. You are so talented. 🙂

  5. I was told I had I had a hysterectomy but my memory fails as I had too many ECTs. That’s not a period in your life to want to remember, yet not something you want to forget either when you’re a woman.in her 20’s.
    This is a stunning poem. You are so talented. 🙂

  6. I was told I had I had a hysterectomy but my memory fails as I had too many ECTs. That’s not a period in your life you want to remember, yet not something you want to forget either when you’re a woman.in her 20’s.
    This is a stunning poem. You are so talented. 🙂

    1. Sigh. I agree (about sometimes just not wanting to remember.) I am so so so taken by your inner strength through ALL your ups and downs and your trials you are a truly lovely person and one I am VERY proud to call friend.

  7. Wonderful writing…every line a truth that is sure to resonate with every woman approaching, going through, or past the big M.

      1. I think so… you take a long hard unflinching look… you are self aware without ever descending into self pity (a most unattractive trait in a writer). Ice in the veins.

          1. how honest and interesting as i would agree. i have never been balanced but i did extiniqush my ego and then realize what a horrible mistake it is to completely exist without it in a competitive world! so i know what you mean on some level, the idea of seeking something, reaching it and then realizing, oh dear, this doesn’t necessarily help me at all! maybe elucidation will never exist for those who seek further, as we’re never there, and that’s the point we’re not supposed to be, the journey not the destination – then again extremes as exciting as they are, can mar our ability for other things because we’re so taken up by their intensity

          2. Too true… I often think that I long for absolute solitude and when I get it I long for it to stop immediately. But my nature is naturally contrary and maybe I shouldn’t argue for my own peculiarities which aren’t universal. I am enjoying our discussions here Feather… I await your riposte

          3. I long for absolute solitude too, what do you think is the root cause of a longing for that extreme? I think that’s why I watch Scandi-Noir on TV too! The bleak nothingness that sets me free? Maybe the notion of nature is contradiction? I must confess to being boring I tend not to self-contradict much, I’d be far more interesting if I did. Women tend to more than men I have found, the mercury within themselves? But men are more wanderers than women. So I may be essentially more masculine in nature, it’s possible.

          4. Well i think all good artists are aware of the dichotomy in their natures. I am a wanderer and I self-contradict so what does that make me? You are never boring my dear Feather, you are adorable and only people who think they are never boring are the only really bores. Myself, well I am quite boring most of the time.

          5. I don’t know Grasse, are you Provençal? I lived in London back in the nineties I haven’t lived in England for over twenty years

          6. It does. I think boredom is probably the greatest motivator in human history. Also the English were the first to come up with the concept of boring as opposed to being a bore which is a temporary state where as boring is a permanent condition.

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