I Don’t Understand a Thing

2014

I didn’t know a thing about periods.
When I asked, all I got was its definition from the dictionary.
“Menstruation is a physiological change that the female body goes through during puberty if the egg isn’t fertilized.”
I didn’t understand a word.

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Walk Straight

2014

Walk like a soldier.
Don’t you know how soldiers walk?
Eyes straight.
Back straight.
No swaying.

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The Virginity Test

2019

I didn’t bleed a lot the first day I got my period,
So there were doubts about whether or not it was actually my period.
It was the worst time of my life.
womanhood, period, gender violence, fgm, virginity testing

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Nothing Wrong with It

2019

I was in the 9th grade,
The first time I got my period.
I used to always hear about it from my friends.
Mama treated it as something normal.
She told me about it before I got it.
But I used to be embarrassed by it,
And didn’t want anyone at home to know when I had it,
Especially my brothers.
It made me very tired sometimes,
And they sometimes noticed.

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Identity Crisis

2012

“Be careful while crossing the street.”
“Don’t take flowers from strangers.”
“Don’t walk down dark streets.”
The things I especially could never forget were,
“Don’t walk like a girl! Walk like a man!”

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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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My Hobbies Are Not Trivial

2010

The reason why the poetess wants to leave her busy life behind and focus on simpler things hasn’t been determined yet.
But I’m sure that I don’t want people around me to assume that my interests are trivial just because I’m a woman.
Or because of the way I look.

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The Women of Establ Antar

2013

The Women of Establ Antar
Those women were in control of their bodies, unlike most of the women in the city.
They would bellydance anywhere, anytime.

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A Valid Excuse

2019

My period affects my life to a large degree.
Not just during it,
But also the week leading up to it,
When I’m unable to move.
My body feels weak,
And my legs feel as if they’re being pulled away from my body.
There’s usually a general feeling of exhaustion,
Which continues until my period ends.

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One of the Guys

2019

I’m a girl,
And I have two brothers.
I’ve always been told that I’m a “reckless” person.
But like I said,
I’m a girl who was brought up around two brothers.
What was I supposed to be like, then?
There was obviously a chance I’d turn out this way.

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