Every Month

2019

I think I was in the seventh grade when I got my period for the first time.
I didn’t know what it was.
I thought I had injured myself.
But I didn’t feel any pain.
I quickly washed my clothes,
But the blood kept increasing alarmingly.

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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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Body Issues

2014

I don’t know how to resolve my body issues.
I can’t stand my body and its needs.
I feel like that diminishes me.

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Broken Hymen

2019

I was very young,
About 8 years old,
When I found blood in my underwear.
I didn’t pay any attention to it,
Until my mother saw it and asked me.
“I don’t know,” I said.
“Tell me if you find blood again,” she said.
She explained menstruation to me,
And explained what a hymen was.
She told me it resembles a wet napkin,
And that it could tear easily,
And that they’d kill me if I tore it.
This scared me,
And stopped me from doing anything.

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I Hate My Period

2019

My sister, who is 3 years younger than me,
Got her period 6 months before I did.
She was 11 years old then,
And I was 14.

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A Strong Woman

2018

I feel like I can’t be feminine and taken seriously at the same time.
I have to either be a child or act like a man to be given worth and acceptance.
Strong women are considered to be confusing—troublesome.
womanhood, social pressure

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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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About Periods

2015

There was a teacher called Soheir or Siham.
One time, she closed the classroom door during religion class,
And, in a very shy tone, bombarded us with a wealth of information in just three minutes.

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At Grandma and Grandpa’s

2019

That day,
I felt happy,
Because my mother had taken me for a walk around the house,
After my science exam.
I quickly went to the bathroom,
And found blood in my underwear.
I didn’t care.
I put a few tissues,
And decided not to tell anyone.

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Five Minutes of Her Time

2019

I got my period when I was in 9th grade.
I felt that something strange and confusing was happening to my body;
Something I couldn’t control.
I was sitting in the living room that had a bifold door,
So it was never fully closed.
I tried to gesture to my mother to come help me,
But she was busy.

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