Hospital Corners by Mary Lou Meyers: A Final Menopause Awareness Month Posting

I like to think that post-menopausal women are like fall flowers, in the autumn of our lives, when we have a burst of color and energy to follow our gifts. Thanks to Mary Lou Meyers for this reminder.

How I shied away from those squared off corners,
fumbling fingers practiced on the cot
in the Nurse’s cubbyhole in school for a
Homemaking Badge in Brownies;
like bathing a baby in High School Health,
a certain fear inspired,
not to pin the baby instead of the diaper,
“tuck it in” was the thing to do,
stab yourself if need be.
The length and breadth of a woman was little known then.
Those straight ends that never seemed to meet
our restless feet, evaded me
though I complied with the straightforward
systematic managing of married life.
How little we asked of ourselves then,
balanced books on our head in Charm School
instead of poring over them,
prayed for a Prince Charming and an anointed son,
we were never the chosen one.
It was hard to conceal the ordeal, mummy-wrapped
into the status quo, nowhere to go,
the end of my free wheeling days, the Daring-Dos
when I could run and swim with the best of them.
Those straight ends that never seemed to meet
our restless feet, evaded me
though I complied with the straightforward
systematic managing of married life—Entrapment.
How to make your bed and lie in it,
our only recourse, the Daddy Take-Over,
the Mommy Make-Over,
along with the ribbons we tied in our braids,
and marched in parades down the concourse of life.
The way we avoided Math in those days
so simple on the surface.
Why did it seem so complex and without end?
That summed it all up with numbers loud and clear,
too heavy a load to bear, the Daddy Take-Over,
the Mommy Make-Over,
while gentility was supposed to flow
from our being unaware,
though I complied with the straightforward
systematic managing of married life.
I’m still tying up loose ends.
They’re just beginning to understand
the length and breadth of a woman now,
unwrapping the bonds that bound us to our task,
but the reminders are still there.
Aren’t you glad you’re still around
for the after menopausal glow
surrounding you?

Apology Note: I meant to post this earlier in the month, but became preoccupied with Jewish Holidays. However, the poem is good for women in general, not just menopausal and post-menopausal women and not just for September, but all year long!

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