Monday, October 17, 2005

Abortions in Church

On Saturday night at St. Mark's Church, I performed as part of the Segundo Encuentro de Poesia Nueva. Being in a church you'd think I'd perform something god-ly or por lo menos espiritual (I've been speaking Spanish all weekend so it's running in my head overtime)? But no. I decided to do my abortion poem because well why the fuck not? I know somewhere in the back of my mind I did that on purpose although I made that realization moments before I hit the mic, not when I shoved the poem into my bag earlier that day.

The funny thing about the abortion poem is the reaction it brings.

I have had women hear it and cry.
"It made me remember the miscarriage I had"
Another spoke of a stillborn.

I have had women come up to me and congratulate me for being so "brave" in writing and speaking it.
"It is an aspect of so many women's lives that never gets spoken about" I am told. Then it is qualified oh so often by, "not that I've ever had an abortion".

They don't dare ask me if I've had an abortion or if that poem is about me(yes and yes), but they assume and they smile and pat me on the back and sometimes it feels like they are shaking their heads and they are shaking my hand. There is still such a culture of shame that women who have had abortions are made to carry with them . Yes it is something heavy and sometimes painful but also sometimes it is an answer, an informed choice. I wonder if I lived in a different kind of world if I would even have need to write and abortion poem if the whole act of outing it is because of its very place in this country and others.

I have yet to have a woman come up to me after I perform that and say thank you and yes me too.


Blogger fiercelyfab said...

woman-keep on reciting your poem and speaking about abortion, it is far too "taboo" and it has a disgusting stigma, thank you and yes for what you do, mala.

Un beso.

10/18/2005 03:01:00 PM  

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