A Serious Condition

2019

I first found out about periods when I was around 11 years old.
We were in Saudi Arabia when I started noticing mama’s Always pads.
I didn’t understand what they were,
Or what they were used for.
All I knew was that they were mama’s,
And that she used them,
But I didn’t understand why.
Then she told me,
But I didn’t understand.

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Mama’s Bag

2019

Because of my curiosity,
I asked mama for one too.
“That’s for big girls only,” she’d say in an upset and serious tone.
My curiosity compelled me to wear the hijab like them,
Just so I could be a grown up woman like them.
But still she ignored me.
I kept secretly watching them,

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Blood and Pain

2019

I was 13 years old the first I got it.
I got cramps,
So I went to the bathroom.
I was scared by the blood and called my mother.
She opened the door and saw me.
“Do you know what that is?” she asked me.
“Yes,” I replied.
She closed the door and sent someone to buy me pads.

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Mama Taught Me

2019

I would always hear stories from my friends,
About how they were surprised the first time they got their periods,
And how it affected them,
And how they accepted their changing bodies.
Thank God for my mother,
May she rest in peace.
When my body started to change,
And show signs of puberty,
My mother explained to me what menstruation was,
What happens exactly during it,
And why it happens.

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She Made Me Scared

2019

Mama explained periods to me when I was young,
Around a year before I got mine.
She used to tell me when she was tired because of period pain.
I got my period really early.
I was in the fourth grade.
womanhood, period

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Punished on Your Behalf

2019

I was 9 years old.
I remember coming back from school,
And finding some blood in my underwear.
I thought I’d gotten injured,
And didn’t give it much thought.
I became afraid the following days,
When there was still more blood.
I didn’t want to tell my mother,
So she wouldn’t yell at me.

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Every Last Detail

2019

My parents explained to me in detail everything about puberty,
Before it happened.
They were psychologically preparing me for it,
So that I wouldn’t be taken by surprise.
They were also laying the groundwork for the social and religious obligations,
That accompany puberty.

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Periods and Work

2014

I was the only girl in an office full of men.
Sometimes, I’d have to work for twelve hours straight.
I’d get so exhausted when I got my period that I’d sometimes faint.
It’s not reasonable for me to get exhausted every month,
So I devised a story about how there’s something wrong with my kidneys.

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Flu-like

2019

The first time I got my period was during summer vacation.
I hadn’t turned 12 yet.
My mother hadn’t talked to me about menstruation,
But I learned about it from a relative by coincidence.
I thought it was like the common cold.

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The Monthly Battle

2006

I always thought I was special.
Or at least that is how my parents made me feel.
I used to watch the older girls from a distance.
I watched them go through through their monthly agony: their period.

FULL STORY
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