Dysmenorrhea By Emily Buckley

‘painful, disabling cramps in the lower abdomen’

Few people feel where their ovaries are.
I guess people know the rough placement,
they could point and pick them out on a chart.
They vaguely know how the misplacement

of growing tissue, and of bleeding cysts
make the ovaries flood with hormones
and make stabbing pain and swelling persist.
They don’t know it aches down to your bones.

Now I know where my left ovary is,
cupped in inflamed flesh, feeling writhing strife.
It’s walking across a tightrope, and its
balancing on the edge of a steak knife.

When it falls, and tears its fragile skin
waves of pain erupt through my abdomen.

By Emily Buckley


Emily is an English Literature and Creative Writing undergraduate student at Lancaster University, and a passionate poetry student taking classes with Eoghan Walls and Paul Farley. She has been featured in Flash Literary Journal, and won second place in their 2020 Freshers Writing Competition with her hybrid piece She Stood on the Doorstep. Originally from Manchester, Emily’s poetry focuses on sexuality, religion, and chronic illness.

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