metamorphosis, a hay(na)ku
a poem about the Black Maternal Health Crisis and my experience with postpartum depression
I am sharing a hay(na)ku poem I wrote about my postpartum depression and experience with The Black Maternal Health crisis which continues to plague us within this country. Black women are three times more likely to die because of our inadequate healthcare systems, neglect, and medical apartheid. I nearly died after giving birth to my first two children and suffered immensely during my postpartum period after birthing my third child. I was lucky enough to have resources, a care team, and people who walked with me to navigate through the difficulties of early motherhood. I wish I didn’t have to claim my luck… I wholeheartedly wish Black mothers were listened to, believed, and protected in this lifetime.
But, mostly, I wish people understood that these numbers are no accident. When Black mothers are not receiving necessary care to nourish, birth, and raise their children then they (we) must be known, named, and acknowledged as victims/survivors of a eugenics project engineered by white supremacy.
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“Hay(na)ku is a 3-line poem with one word in the first line, two words in the second, and three in the third. There are no restrictions beyond this.”1
I was introduced to this poem form when another Filipino poet nudged me to stop writing haikus (for decolonization and anti-imperialism reasons) and start writing in this poetic style which was created by Eileen R. Tabios, a fellow kababayan of the Filipino diaspora.
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