to my last period
well, girl, goodbye, after thirty-eight years. thirty-eight years and you never arrived splendid in your red dress without trouble for me somewhere, somehow. now it is done, and i feel just like the grandmothers who, after the hussy has gone, sit holding her photograph and sighing, wasn’t she beautiful? wasn’t she beautiful?
Lucille Clifton, "to my last period" from Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton. Copyright © 1991 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of BOA Editions, Ltd., boaeditions.org.