Woe-men (A Menstrual Cup Poem)

They’re presented to you as sweets by the till,

Wrapped like pineapple and apple lollipops, to appeal.

You’re made to crave their alcopop disposition,

The scented, hyped-up flavoured pads with energising ads.

Nobody tells you there’s other ways of being a woman,

A girl, a human being; a sentient goddamn thing.

-

Aghast, alas, and still childish

I hated, dreaded, rejected them

The day they came

They the Norman legions and I the English

Invasion afoot, I wish I’d fled,

But with no control, instead I bled.

-

No one tells you there’s other ways of living

Thousands of lives unknown and averted,

Every month of the year.

Nobody addresses the frightening feat that is

The red-rust clotted clafoutis delicacy of the womb.

Never do they elevate how groveling on all fours

At four in the morning, yogi, ass mid-air can alleviate

A pain most will know from their teens until their daughter’s the same;

No one tells you that your companion will be the hot water bottle

Not the pearl-wrapped cotton accessorised disposable apparel.

-

Why would they tell? Those who speak know not themselves

Of the normal lesions infecting our cells,

Of the aching, rattling, attention-seeking

That is the internal, periodical, menstrual bleeding.