Gone Rogue

In middle school,          our hygiene teacher
Mrs. Miller warned                   the girls
about rogue sperm:                   they infest
all the swimming pools
and ponds, they          inhabit the shower
(don’t take one after your brother),
they live on soap and              don’t give up.
I felt lucky to be                       an only child.

Getting birth control               in a popup clinic,
I’m in the stirrups,                 and the doctor knows
I’m nervous, so he tells me   about one woman’s cure
for yeast: a yogurt douche, only
she used blueberry                    instead of plain,
and when he checked her the berries
oozed out.                      For some reason
this story does not       make me laugh
as it does the doctor and the woman
who helps him,             whom I believe
is a nurse.                      But he helps me,
and I’m glad they come
to an unmarked house             and labor
in someone’s living room
for free.             They do not ask            why
I’m there,         or what I need.
Exceptions                     were the rule.

Today the headlines track
old news:                        heartbeat laws,
reimplanting ectopic fetuses,
consensual rape.
Today I’m grateful
I have no daughters,                 no granddaughters.
For menopause.

Image: Photo by Erol Ahmed, via Unsplash.