Monday, March 5, 2018



At the computer bank in the high school
media center, two girls are looking at sites
about the hazards of abortion: severe psychological
effects, impaired fertility, increased chance
of breast cancer. In the printer I find photos
of late-term fetuses curled up in pools of blood,
and I feel angry. These girls must know others
saddled with infants before age 16; you see them
all the time, walking the halls of our school,
bellies like prows of ships leading them away
from adolescence and into the churning seas
of early adulthood. I imagine myself at their age,
but that would never have been me. I never had
to say no more than once, until later. I think
of my first husband, my withered ego, the way
I always seemed to be in the wrong, the way
he could talk me out of my emotions
and they’d still be there, pulsing in the deep
of my heart. I think of my trip to the doctor
in Finland, and how afterward I felt relieved,
yes, relieved, and well. I turn to the girl, tell her
I’ve had two and I don’t regret either one.
Even a little. And I don’t. I think of my two
living children and am grateful for the presence
on this earth, how they make up the fulcrum
of my life. But when I think of the others,
I am not sad for even a moment. Their spirits
are somewhere in the dark matter of the universe
or elsewhere in this world, perhaps in a different
form. Maybe this poem is all that’s left of them.
I am glad they did not enter the dark shadows
of my life then. I don’t need to speculate about what
might have been. I’m sorry if you think ill of me.
After all this time, I still remember the relief
I felt, the gratitude for the brave doctors
just helping one more poor girl grow up.

- Anonymous

No comments: