From One Girl to Another by Vicki Iorio

And from that day on everything seems different. At first you feel new and strange…..the way a butterfly must feel when it suddenly discovers it has wings

Nine year old summer. I fall out of a tree. After disposal of buds and twigs, the cleansing of wounds, a deeper blood remains.

Girls have some crazy names for it: my friend, the monthlies, Aunt Flo, grandma coming to visit, falling off the roof, getting the pie

My mother tosses me a box of Kotex. Tells me to stay in my room.

Have an excuse when the boys ask you to go swimming…you can don your play suit and get a tan while the others swim. Don’t tease the boys they might throw you into the briny

I am a fish but mom won’t let me near the water. When my best friend Robert, my pool pal, his lunch wrapped in a beach towel, comes to get me, Ma slams the door in Robert’s face.

And you need never feel the least embarrassed to ask for a Kotex in a store—– even if it’s a tall, young red-haired lad on the other side of the counter. He’ll give you a box of Kotex without batting an eye.

Yeah right

Tampons and the ‘internal’ method. Frankly most authorities say most young girls shouldn’t use tampons without first consulting their doctors…….a brush with the hymen

Ma pounds on the locked bathroom door. “Are you using a Tampax?” Threatens to call my father or the fire department.

Keep your hair clean and tidy. Wear fresh clothes……sprinkle Quest powder on the pad to stop the odor, this will give you poise and make you more attractive

By age 13, I go with the flow, don polka dot frocks, go under the boardwalk with boys.

If you depend on your memory you’re sure to get mixed up.…. If you stop for an overlong time then check with your mother and go to the doctor for a good frank chat. He can probably fix you up in time

Or call you a stupid girl.

 

Text, From One Girl to Another, puberty and menstruation booklet from Kotex Sanitary Napkins, 1940

————
New York based poet, Vicki Iorio is the author of the poetry collection, Poems from the Dirty Couch, Local Gems Poetry Press, 2013. You can read Iorio’s work in Hell strung and Crooked, I Let Go of the Stars, (Great Weather for Media), The Brownstone Poets Anthology, The San Pedro Review, The Mom Egg, Crack the Spine, Hysteria, The Paper Street Journal and Home Planet News.
Iorio’s chapbook Send me a Letter, dancinggirlpress will make its debut early summer 2016.

 

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