Poetry Month 2023 Post #26: “Estrogenesis”

April is #NationalPoetryMonth and I am posting a Poem-A-Day. I wrote this poem in 2010. Now that I am through this stage of my life, I wonder how this deep embodied wisdom gets to speak truth these days. Maybe some menopause poems are on the horizon. The beautiful art is by Ani Rose Whaleswan called “Body Mandala”


A sweet fragrance
speaking with sincerity
A life-giving metaphor
a spirit-filled guideline

Estrogenesis is my new name
for PMS–an estrogen
driven new/re birth with
labor pains and all to go
with it

The veil is lifted–a
monthly personal apocalypse.
life and death conflated
swirling around in a body
preparing to expel tissue,
blood, fluid that could have
been new life, but now
needs to be sloughed off.
Each expulsion–death and

Each a painful cellular
reality check that we cannot
always nurture life but that
we also must usher in
death so that there is
space for new life, new growth,
renewed cell divisions, baby
blood cells, virgin tissue
that anticipates possibilities.

Estrogenesis mandates
sloughing cells not
pass in vain–somehow
create, somehow
give birth, and somehow
take my time close, so close
to the truth of life and death.

How much can I stand?
Survive? How much do
I need it softened for a while
to steady myself for the next
labor to set in?

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