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  • Arshya Wadhwa


Updated: Feb 1, 2022

Subtle acts of dissatisfaction

Mere digression,

Led our workers, and all those who bleed

To a sect of vulnerability,

With a need indeed.

Oh, I bleed, I bleed red.

I get judged, I feel begrudged.

Tenacious tantalisations in the realm,

Fails to end, it increases the overwhelm.

Oh, I bleed, I bleed red,

Does it fret you, the stain on the bed?

A gush of embarrassment at an early age,

A secrecy, to be ‘maintained’-

Poor young us, poor old them

Failed to coach, failed to grasp

Who suffered, at last?

Oh, they bleed, they bleed red.

They work with you, they work for you,

Prerogatives stalled to reach them,

Why isn’t there a way to circumvent?

Sand, ash, cloth- is all at their at their helm.

Oh, they bleed, they ALSO bleed red.

Dignity and esteem, they too deserve.

A Humiliated theme- is all we preserve.

The mess trickles,

agony is holistic.

Our ‘purity’ questioned,

Our sanity’s at stake-

Is it because we bleed or is it simply your mistake?

Oh, I bleed, I bleed red.

I cease the dilemma, I cease the clichés.

Let me bleed, let me breathe-

It’s nothing for you, to simply aggrieve.

Brief Explanation: the poem is about how menstruation is still a taboo in many parts of the world. The suffering of the relatively more vulnerable people who bleed is sometimes ignored and trivialized by the privileged few. The poem was written for a friend’s initiative called ASanitaryGift- It provides with a forum that speaks about menstruation and problems faced by domestic help in that regard.

Cover Image: Danny G / Unsplash

About the poet: Arshya is pursuing BA. Hons in legal studies wishes to pursue LL.B. Her interest areas include family law, animal rights, reading legal history and pursuing feminist studies.

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