I remember the day my mother escaped
Secretly from the backyard gate.
Hidden and tucked tampons, with deft
She crept back in with a stealthy step.
My curious eyes were quick to spot
It, demanding to know what she’d bought.
With a furtive look she glanced around
Before shutting me up with a, “No more sound!”
“Shhhh!” She said, mysteriously
And sealed my mouth imperiously.
And one day in a pool of blood,
Surrounded by its shameful flood,
I found my school skirt deeply stained;
My head and tummy ached and pained!
I felt an animal in the zoo,
With stares that hit me black and blue.
Soon, the issue was taken to court;
Head ordered me home with an escort.
Wrapped in a pinafore, crisp and new,
To camouflage the social taboo.
At home, I said I was suffering from piles,
But was puzzled to see my mother in smiles.
A mother, how so calm could be
With her child unwell so seriously?
And then the mystery was revealed –
I’d encountered the battle field
Of womanhood which behoved me shy;
To carry my tampons on the sly.
I grew up bearing the shame and guilt
Of the foundation on which womanhood was built
Until I had my baby – the first,
And told them in a fitful burst,
“I am proud I bleed and stain”,
For that’s the blood that runs the vein
Of my baby, that gabbles, babbles and fills
My heart and home with his thunderous thrills.
Red speaks passion;
Red speaks love;
So is the hue
Of the faithful blood
That keeps the promise of its visit;
Nothing hidden. All explicit!
I watch my daughter boldly buy
Napkins with her head held high!
She bleeds, yet plays with her brother and me.
The cramps call for her father to free
Her of the lessons which are adjourned
Until she feels she’s ready to learn.
A relief, a calm, I then experience
When I notice a distinct difference
Between what went on with mother and me.
A taboo? No longer can I see!
Each mother, father and brother be bold
To rid the norms of the nonsensical old.
Just as blood helps man survive,
Menstruation keeps mankind alive!