Feb 24Liked by Kathryn Mockler

A year or so later, when I was eleven, I got the “curse.” I was

horrified at the blood on my pajamas and between my legs. I

remembered my mother’s blood. She had tried to tell me about

menstruation, but I had blocked her words, and now I had it. She

fitted me with a fold of clean cloth in my underwear, secured it

with two safety pins, and told me to go to school. I didn’t want

to go.

“You’ll just have to get used to it,” she had said.

At school, I avoided my friends because I knew that everyone

could see the blood and this thing between my legs. I felt distant

from everyone. The girls were giggling and silly. They didn’t have

the curse. I hated them.

When I had developed breasts, she had made me a bra. It was

a beautiful creation made of pink satin with delicate embroidered

roses on the cups.

“A French bra,” she had said proudly as she gave it to me.

an excerpt from my memoir Growing Up Weird: A memoir of an Oak Bay childhood from the chapter titled The Curse.. this would have been around 1950. I am doing a second printing of my book and it will be available by mid March. cheers, Liz Forbes lizmax@shaw.ca

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Feb 24Liked by Kathryn Mockler

Hi Kathryn,

I'm a new subscriber and first, thanks! I like what you wrote on the first page about your new book and the period stories. And you know, I love that maxi-pad cover.

Here's a poem you might like.


to my last period

  by Lucille Clifton

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?

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Feb 24Liked by Kathryn Mockler

One day I was sitting on the floor in the kitchen, petting

Pippa, my cocker spaniel. She was sleeping in her usual spot,

half under the woodstove, when Mum came in the back door,

bringing a burst of cold air. She dropped her grocery bag on the

table, pulled back a chair, and sat to take off her winter boots. I

watched my pretty mother as she lifted her foot to reach the heel

of her boot. From where I sat, I could see right up her leg. Her

plaid, pleated skirt was tossed back, revealing a white slip and

white underpants and blood. Lots of blood. Bright red blood was

on her legs and on her slip. For a moment, I glimpsed dark blood

on her underpants before she put her leg down. I watched as she

lifted her other leg, and it was the same — gluey, bright red blood

everywhere. I wondered if she knew that she was bleeding.

“Put the groceries away, would you, Lizzie dear? I’m going to

lie down for a while.” She didn’t usually lie down in the middle

of the day.

In that minute, I thought for certain that she was dying.

I wondered if I should tell Daddy about Mum when he

came home, but I couldn’t find the words to tell him that she was

bleeding to death. Daddy made supper, and Mum stayed in bed.

This is a page before in my book Growing Up Weird...to give you the context...and this was all I was taught about having a period...it was a 'curse' a bloody curse...never to be talked about! cheers, Liz Forbes

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