We Are Women's Report 2018

Stacy Chikka Oriuwa
Photo Credit: Roberto Caruso

A spoken word poem by Chika Stacy Oriuwa
University of Toronto Medical Student

You’ve waited one week
no words are heard when the doctor begins to speak,
your fingers tightly interwoven on your lap
head is slightly tilted back, as he says
“your scans are clear”
eyes begin to well with tears,
because at 36 years
you could not imagine that you’d find yourself here

a few floors below,
a little girl you do not know is sitting by her mother’s side
she said there was no place to hide when the bombs would blast
this new country is safety at last
but she cannot sleep
the nightmares would always seem to creep in
when her eyes would close

suddenly, her attention shifts to a girl who froze
outside the door
Lindsey realizes she’s on the wrong floor
but her mind can’t make sense of the space
as her thoughts begin to race
she quickly heads towards the correct place
and waits for her name to be called

she said she doesn’t know where her mind went when it happened
she said it all was so fast and
she felt trapped and
couldn’t find the strength to push him away
she had no choice but to stay the night
her eyes were full of fright
when she asks if anyone will believe her?
the doctor does not deceive her
with the stats

five floors above
a young couple reacts
to the sound of their son’s heart beatthe mother begins to weep as the father takes his seat
and holds her hand
this is the start of the family they always planned
but could not imagine
when she learned her ovaries were covered in cysts,
a pregnancy was hard to fathom

across the floor was a woman determined to break tradition
she had spent the last few years in the grips of addiction
treating a pain that caused her much affliction
but she doesn’t want her days to blur
and she can’t defer her happiness any longer
she’s confident that on this new treatment plan,
her chances at sobriety would be stronger

waiting nearby outside the elevator,
a doctor ponders
about the patient she is desperately trying to save
despite the interventions that she gave
the prognosis is grim
but she musters a smile,
for the next patient has been waiting quite a while
and wants to know the impact
of the chemo on her fertility
see she is only 33 and
a few months ago she was counseled on IUDs
and she’s confused about how the tides turned so quickly

but she finds hope in the four walls of that room
where faith lingers in the air like perfume
within a hospital that conquers the impossible
for everyday women with concerns
ranging from abdominal to oncological
gynecological to optical
with doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers
that bravely face every obstacle|
spinning miracles out of the improbable

at women’s college hospital
healthcare for women is revolutionized
the gaps that once seemed so wide are being drawn to a close
leading women through the ebbs and flows of their darkest hours
reminding them of their power
pressing for progress in every direction
professionals of the finest collection
are gathered here
for women,
for us,
and so we thank you.