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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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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War Secret

2019

“Who does this belong to?” she asked.
“It’s mine,” I replied, rather naively.
She laughed.
“Congratulations. You’re a woman now.
I have to go tell your father the good news!”
womanhood, period, body image

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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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The Bus Owner

2014

It was me and two or three other girls on the bus.
Two of them were veiled and one was wearing the niqab.
We were all standing in a corner.
We were surrounded by men.
There was a man sitting with his legs wide open and laughing loudly.
It was as if he was the owner of the bus and could act any way he liked.

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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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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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Pain and Discomfort

2019

I wasn’t feeling well for over a month.
I had a stomach-ache,
And was feeling down all the time.
My mother took me to see a doctor when I told her.
After he examined me, he said,
“There’s nothing wrong with you.
Eat well,
And stop eating food that isn’t home-cooked.”
A month later,
I got my period.
I didn’t understand what it was at first.

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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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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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