New branded tracks
Brand new jersey
I pull the tissue
Out of the new shoes.
Brand new water bottle
A new pack of sanitary pads
As the day breaks,
I step out of the house.
I rush past the morning crowd,
Toss my bag on the stone bench
Tie my shoelaces and warm up
As I stretch, I feel the bleed.
Crowds gather, my coach arrives
I give a thumbs up to my parents
Cheering from the corner.
I wait, squinting my eyes in the sun.
The sharp screech of the whistle blows
I run, I bleed.
I bleed, I run.
People cheer, I run, I bleed.
The more I run, the more I sweat,
The more I run, the more I bleed,
Amidst all the heat around me,
I feel the wetness, sweat and blood.
I run…… I run…. I run….
A ribbon hits my chest,
I drop down on the floor,
Sweating still, bleeding still.
They announce that I am selected,
For participating in the Olympics this year.
I look back to the day I cried,
After boys on the ground teased me for my stain.
To the day when my mom was advised
Not to send me outside “on those days”.
I sincerely hope…. No! I pray,
The day of my Olympics run, I should have my period.
This is the winning entry for our 5th writing contest: Sports During Periods
Poet: Narayani Subramanian
Narayani is a research scholar of Marine Biology in
Andamans. As a child of two doctors, she lived in a very well-informed and secure bubble until she one day realized that not all girl children are as lucky as her. She wants to spread medical awareness through popular media to the young girls who are stepping into womanhood.
Editor: Anam Mitra