My Menopausal Womb by Anne Walsh Donnelly

Hairdresser empties tubes

into a black bowl, stirs a mixture

of what looks like day-old blood.

366, he calls the dye.


He pastes my greying hair,

doesn’t take long to cover.

Thirty minutes of flicking through Image,

Hello and Good Housekeeping

and I’m scarlet again.


Gynecologist puts my feet in steel stirrups

tells me to spread my legs

covers his hands with latex gloves

grabs a speculum

tells me to cough and inserts.


When he withdraws I know

what he has to say before he

opens his mouth. And I wish

there was a colour like 366

that would turn my shrunken

womb, scarlet again.



Anne Walsh Donnelly was nominated for the Hennessy Irish Literary Award for emerging poetry and selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions series in 2019. She is the author of the poetry chapbook “The Woman With An Owl Tattoo.” To find out more about Anne and her work, go to:

Inspired by

© 2024 Spontaneity. Copyright of contributions remains with the artist.