Menopause and the Juicy Red Bloody Mess

Menopause: Red Flower of the Last Blood, a Poem by Nina Serrano

Menopause poem in Heart's Journey Cover.
Heart’s Journey Cover. Click on the cover to buy the book.

Today’s women’s movement brings menopause and menstruation into the global conversation about life, health and sexuality.  This poem describes the experience from the inside from my personal female perspective.  And Jack Foley’s commentary takes this over the top, adding a male response that men need to know this.

This dialogue between them is the subject of  the radio broadcast excerpt of Open Book: Poet to Poet Series, KPFA-fm of Nina Serrano presented here. She reads her poem “Red Flower of the Last Blood” from Heart’s Journey, Selected Poems 1980-1999 (page 8) followed by poet and literary critic, Jack Foley’s commentary.

Here is the poem:

Red Flower of the Last Blood

For Dena Taylor, who rethought menstruation

I miss that juicy wet
bloody mess
that made me stop
and deal with my body
even through days of bloating, cramping, blood and desire
Hanging on to the galloping mare of emotions
by the tail, the neck or the bridle
even when jumping fences
forging rivers or flying over the moon
That wet juicy
bloody mess
that created a bloody mess
on panties, nighties, and sheets
even left stains on the white dress
and chair
That wet juicy
bloody mess
that sent me for rags, factory made pads
and even irritating tampons that could bring disease
Causing me worries till it appeared again
–to swallow pills
insert jelly covered diaphragms
and even the deadly Dalkon Shield
that made for a hospital stay
That wet juicy
bloody mess
whose absence led down the frightened path
of illegal abortions
littered with pain and guilt
That wet juicy
bloody mess
tied me to the lunar calendar
Now I submit only to the sun and stars
the hot flashes they ignite
of smoldering aspirations
volcanic revolutions
and mellow rebirths

July 21, 1989, Managua, Nicaragua
© Nina Serrano, 2013 

MEDIA – For photos & interviews: Paul Richards (510) 967 5577;


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