In the heat of the night

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


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


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





her morning



68 thoughts on “In the heat of the night

  1. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

      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.


  2. 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 😉


  3. 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 her 20’s.
    This is a stunning poem. You are so talented. 🙂


  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 want to remember, yet not something you want to forget either when you’re a 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 you want to remember, yet not something you want to forget either when you’re a her 20’s.
    This is a stunning poem. You are so talented. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Liked by 1 person

      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

        Liked by 1 person

      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

        Liked by 1 person

      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.

        Liked by 1 person

      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.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. 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.

        Liked by 1 person

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