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Wild flowers

Let me list the colours: crimson, maroon, bright pink

the darkest wine tones reddish brown blood

all owned by me, mixed internally

by my artist womb.

Before my period I might be cranky or tired

till little darts of pain proclaim the juggernauts imminent arrival.

When I bleed everything is 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.

Scotland supports women

when pockets are empty it’s tragic for health

menstruation is a human rights issue

tissue-stuffed knickers is not ok

children with cramps toilet roll for 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

women’s bodies aren’t vile speak the unspoken

give up your word games.

Kathryn Crowley lives and writes in Limerick, Ireland. Return to main page: https://artyshe.com/

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