Becoming a Woman

I was 11 when I first got my period.
For weeks before, ants flooded my panties,
feasting on my discharge.
I feared it was diabetes.

When the blood came,
brown and mucky,
it was night and my sister and mother were in bed, reading.
I came out crying.

“Stupid girl, cry for what?”
My mom laughed, hugging me close
as I sobbed, my sister chuckling in the background.
I just kept crying; I had no reply.

12 years later, approximately 144 periods.
I fear not getting one.
I cry at the thought of missing one.
I’m afflicted with torrential emotions before, during and after one.

Perhaps I was crying with the arrival of my period
because this was the end of my freedom.
Now I could officially be used, owned, abused,
because I have become a Woman.

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