Thy period

a sixth grade classroom

full of curious little girls

stare at their teacher, whose face has turned bright red

they are overwhelmed by questions that will never be answered

society has censored the shedding uterus

eleven-year-old me is anxious of rainfall I knew would come unannounced

and when it arrived, it was a flood of unpleasantness

what should’ve felt like a welcoming party to womanhood

was actually an orientation to shame,

graveyard to careless girl-hood

marked by the discomfort rushing between my legs,

ruining my sheets and favorite pajama pants.

it takes a while to figure out the pounding on the walls of my belly

serve as warning sirens for monthly monsoon

I’ll pray to God my period doesn’t come at the end of the semester

how am I supposed to be tested on chemistry

when all I want to know is why

there is such awful chemistry between my cycle and my back.

when my grown brother asks me why I look like I’m about to faint

I’ll excuse my agonizing tiredness to missing breakfast

why are we so fast to conceal the nature of our bodies?

as I grow I learn many things

such as menstruation does not like to be lonely

it magically syncs with the women around me

the women I love

I also learn PMS is nothing compared to all the pain our world inflicts on

all that it means to be a woman.

a young girl is listening to a middle-aged man call her blood unholy

but what could be more blessed then the possibility of creating life?

I’ve never read a novel that’s mentioned periods

sometimes I forget menstruation is not a recent discovery

no one ever told little girls to discuss and learn

about their anatomy

they’ve never had anywhere written for them:

love thy period

hate thy period

but thou shall not

stigmatize thy period

isn’t it time we denounce the shame that’s stained the women before us?


Mawadah is a 16-year-old artist and writer based in Riyadh. Born in Cairo, Egypt but growing up between America, Canada, and Saudi Arabia has made her explore themes of diaspora, identity, growing up and culture. She aims to de-stigmatize and create conversations about uncomfortable and important topics. Mawadah loves travelling, museums, dogs, and her ukulele. 

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s