A brush with bureaucracy

The System Wasn’t Designed For You


“Hospitals will now register newborns,” the papers proclaim.

“Here are the papers to present at the Registry,” the nurses counter:

It seems foreigners need to register kids themselves…


And of course they have to ask for an appointment first.

But las uck would have it, there’s a nice guy who

Has a break in his busy schedule so you don’t have to come back

(After all, you’re obviously not sub-Saharan…).


Then they ask if we can’t swap first and second names –

Sure what odds? It’s all the same, Enda Julen or Julen Enda…

After all our nine months of decision making,

Well no.


Well, our apologies, then, but

Even though Enda is a famous name – a first minister of Ireland, indeed –

It’s not allowed.


If you were both Irish, or any other nationality, it’d be grand;

You could do whatever the hell you like –

Name the child “monkey shite” –

But since his mother is Spanish,

We are obliged to protect the progeny,

And any name that might make one wonder

About the gender is verboten –

That’s ending in on A for a girl, O for a boy,

Get it?


So you’ll have to go and argue with the judge

Once we deny your register request;

Which we don’t want to, but the law requires –

After he gets back from his long weekend, of course…



Enda signifies anything in Euskera –

Which a quick search shows it does, so

All aboard and full steam ahead –

Since we’re in a Vascoparlante zone of Spain.

Even if it meant “monkey manure” that’s okay:

Just be glad we’re not in Madrid, or

You’d be back here Monday morning.


About davidjmobrien

Writer, ecologist and teacher

Posted on December 7, 2015, in Equality, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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