Let me tell you about colour Crimson, maroon, bright pink reddish brown blood the darkest wine tones all owned by me, mixed internally by my artist womb. Before my period I might be cranky, weepy or tired ‘Till little darts of pain proclaim the juggernauts imminent arrival. When I bleed Things get even brighter, louder My tolerance level is bothered But this is not disease; in four days symptoms pass. The word ‘period’ is accurate but you say ‘in the flowers’ Or ‘auntie flo’/‘on the rag’ I could go on for hours How bizarre that you will not name this Girls and boys shamed with the weight of your stigma. Our daughters hide tampons up their sleeves concerned about image, not how they feel and they’re the lucky ones; many can’t afford the basics and I wonder when you’ll face this. Wild flowers bloom then die. When pockets empty it’s tragic for health menstruation is a human rights issue knickers stuffed with tissue is NOT ok children with cramps toilet roll pads one in four miss school; these are facts. So when it comes to everyday talk of functions natural and yet so shamed use the right terms; the body’s not vile speak the unspoken give up your word games.
No harvesting embarrassments or red-faced shame Looking back pondering the past and who’s to blame. Be still. Let moving sounds cloak you Hear wind in copper beech The trickle of a gurgling liquid crystal flowing stream. Breathe in. Sitting in the carnival where masks hide pain Seeing beyond sparkle To truth so plain. Be still. Inhale. Exhale.
Based in Ireland, Kathryn Crowley writes about the woes and wellness of society, observations on the human condition, and personal somatic experience. She also enjoys painting and dance. See www.artyshe.com Twitter @artyshe