Menstrual Hut

By Opal Palmer Adisa

women go

to the hale pe’a

in hawaii

nourish their power

restore balance


nu wan him woman

cook food

during dat time

stories whispered

nu eat stew peas

from any woman

yu can never tell

it will bind

cast a spell

tie you to her


simbu people

of papua new guinea

among indonesians

west africans

almost everywhere


relief from work

break from men

removed from the community

they told stories

guarded their solitude

grew powerful


the men

using their blood

real sometimes staged

to clear a space

for feminine


most times

i’m an even-tempered

congenial person

some even say

i’m gregarious

but not today no private room

or isolated contentment

give me

shared space

where women-to-women


laugh at man’s folly

and squash his fear

a menstrual hut

where women can just be

in charge of

nature’s energy

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