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Mr Stork

by Deborah Nava 23 days ago in slam poetry

A reality check

I wrote this poem six years ago. It’s in response to the way male medical professionals have treated women both here and abroad for centuries. I confront the icon of the stork, which has characterized birth in so many ways. It’s a cheap substitute that covers up the realities that surround birth. He represents the voice of critics that have shamed women for their bodies and birth experiences. I am involved in development work and have seen the brazen and cruel way in which women are treated around the world, especially if they are poor. My own birth experiences reflected the same treatment. This is for the ones whose journey to motherhood was not instagram perfect.

Excuse me, Mr. Stork

Have we met?

You weren’t invited, you may see your way out

You, with your long legs and shiny white coat

Smirking at me, down that long stupid beak of yours

You’ve earned nothing

And yet seek reward

Because you’re bored

Mr. Stork

You have not known the bend and break

The loss of shape

That my body did take

To grow a tiny life inside

The endless bouts of hugging the porcelain bowl

The head aches

The pain

The sleepless nights after a 50lb gain

You don’t know the sacrifice every mother makes

We’re taught to picture you flying away into pretty skies

Instead of seeing a woman with a striped belly

And swollen thighs

No

Just you swooping down to ‘deliver’ a baby and good news

You want all the credit without paying your dues

Mr. Stork

Let me remind you that all over the world

Women are dying and so are their girls

Because it’s too damn hard

To raise a woman to know her worth

So every 60 seconds a woman dies giving birth

Because of your greed

Mr. Stork

They are merely nameless, faceless bodies that breed

You don’t see them as people with need

Only lazy helpless mouths to feed

But you know nothing of need

Mr. Stork

Do you know how it feels

Spending weeks and months and years trying to heal

Needing a hand to hold when a life is lost

Blood dripping down your legs

Your heart numb and bit like frost

Do you know how the mama feels

Holding her babe whose first breath was its last

Or the mama who watches one twin live and one pass

Or the ache of a mom who places her baby in another home

Because she knows

There is one better than her own

Do you know the pain of hormone shot 502

Only to have one line show up and not two

In that shade of baby blue

Did you know that some women must choose

Between saving their life

And another baby to lose

Because she has no support

Or hope

Or love

To come to her rescue

Did you know that some women have no choice

And must do what their told

Do you know the grief

Of a mama whose baby

Never wakes up from sleep

Yet she’s expected to keep moving

And hoping

And living

Is life not forgiving

For a mom

Mr. Stork

Do you know what you took from me?

As a young girl, you put ideas in my head

You said my womb was dead

So I lived in bed

And tried to forget

That I am a woman

I fought against this body I believed to be flawed

Trying to drown you out

As you cawed

In my ears

Screeching my biggest fears

As I gasped and sobbed through tears

But finally the life in me came out

One part screaming little boy

The rest pouring on the ground

But I survived

And I am alive

And no one can take this story

IT IS MINE

Now I join the beautiful story of all these women and moms

Worthy to be counted among those called strong

So Go

Be Gone

Mr. Stork

Good bye

I don’t need your wings

I am free

Watch me fly

slam poetry
Deborah Nava
Deborah Nava
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