A Poem Reading: “Blood!” in WILDsound Writing Festival

In some parts of the world, getting a monthly period means you are shunned by society because it is considered dirty. In other parts of the world, a period is a celebration for having become a woman. And for others, it is a constant embarrassment and a reason not to attend school because one cannot afford feminine hygiene products. But overall, menstruation is uncomfortable subject for many including women who are parents or guardians to girls.

And then there is Elynn Walter from WASH Advocates. When she enters a room to discuss that subject she says ‘OK, everyone stand up and yell the word blood!’ or say, ‘Half of the people in the world have their period!’ After reading her words, I was provoked to use my gift of poetry to support her efforts. This poem I wrote (performed by Maya Woloszyn, a professional voice actor) was inspired by Walter’s words.

Some people find poetry not easy. I hope with this poetry reading every listener will get a meaningful message without the hindrance of metaphors. But above all, I sincerely wish for listeners to not shy away from the truth of menstrual hygiene and as a result get provoked to take action to better their attitude on the matter and improve well-being of others, especially of those in low-income countries.


Blood. Blood.
At adolescence.
We bleed.


Not a full stop.
Let it flow.

Sisters and brothers.
Advocate girls.

Don’t avoid.
Don’t shame.
Don’t qualm.

Give health.
Give education.
Give low-cost alternatives.

Honour our being.
Give us space.
Treat with respect.

Blood. Blood.
Every month.
Women bleed.

©Gloria D. Gonsalves, 2015

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