Monday, July 31, 2023

Sylvia Wenmackers


Good girls act up, their grades are low,
their mums go on a stealing spree,
their aunties’ police sheets grow,
‘be nice’ is not their cup of tea,
they’re into theft or burglary,
and forgery while feeling blue.
They are retaining water, too.

When caught, into a cell they go.
But once in prison, we foresee
they keep up hustling like a pro,
behaving so disorderly
that guards report and ask maybe
the governor to follow through.
Are they retaining water, too?

Kath’rina Dalton wants to know
do menses cause this, are they key
to crime and mood swings, yes or no?
Well, do they now, statistic’lly?
Kath’rina draws tables to see
if her hypothesis is true.
Is it retaining water, too?

So, is it PMS or flow?
Well, with a probability
from here to one in Tokyo
premenstrual tension they may plea:
hormonal woes should set them free.
The women prisons hold, who knew,
they are retaining water, too.

Sylvia's YouTube video reading of "Ballad of Menstruation & Crime"

Sylvia confesses: "This poem was inspired by Katharina Dalton's 1961 article “Menstruation and Crime” in the British Medical Journal."

SYLVIA WENMACKERS is a Belgian philosopher of probability. You may find her near a field of four-leaved clover or on Mastodon as

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