“The moment of change is the only poem.”

Adrienne Rich b. 1929 – American poet

I’ve always heard that a female becomes a woman initially when she begins her menstrual cycle. Secondly, when she first makes love.

Never has anyone clarified an age requirement for either. Rarely have the occasions been celebrated.

The message often, far too often, is one of fear. A sense of foreboding, a need for protection, a deep sense of sadness, even  loneliness and loss, but predominantly fear, all overwhelmed me at the time.

There was tremendous support for the mass of confused emotions. Avoidance was the most prominent aspect present both times.

Then for many years, more than twenty, the occasion of either re-confirmed my initial resignation. New feelings came within time; anger, bitterness, pain and a strong sense of dread.

The year I turned 25 was the last I ever knew of my menstrual cycle. Then I knew freedom; absent was the monthly pain and embarrassment.

Then, during my forty-first year I experienced the very same freedom, lack of pain and embarrassment while making love. It was accompanied by a deep sense of joy I had never before known.

A change in attitude, the poetry of love.

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