Sep 2, 2007

A Yet Untitled Poem

Too many people, even people I like, speak of birth defects casually
They speak of screening followed by "prevention" without thought or remorse
They consider less births with deformities positive progress
Some even know that number is propped up by doctor-urged abortions
They think of birth defects as a number on paper to be reduced
They would do better to think of them as "Becky" or "Joe"
They would speak less hurtfully if they thought of us as people

Q65.9 Congenital deformity of hip, bilateral...
Q97.3 Female with 46,XY karyotype...
Congenital sensorineural hearing impairment...
I am not my birth defects, but I was born defective
To deny it is to deny the forces that shaped my life
To ignore it is to dishonor my people with my silence

If I was born today, docs knowing all I do now,
they would have told my parents many true things:
"She will never run as fast as a normal child."
"She will experience terrible pain."
"She will have quality of life issues."
"She will require a wheelchair."
"She will never hear as we hear."
"Her life will be hard."

If I was born today, docs knowing all I do now,
they would fail to tell my parents many true things:
"She will be happily married."
"She will have wonderful friends."
"She will often be employed."
"She will not let her start dictate her finish."
"She will contribute to her friends, family, and the world."
"Her life will be worthwhile."

I don't care what others think of my life's quality
I am glad to have it, I choose to continue it every day
I am a natural part of the world, not a number
I am strong, vibrant, and unique
I am content to be me