Friday, June 8, 2012

City Limits

Nobody said so much as anything.
There was no anguish or clamor
to break the nonstop silence in the car.
Who could have seen the fallout
over something so routine as death?

Women were allowed no choice then,
told to remain virgins to become wives,
then mothers. Or they could murder themselves,
either with shotgun, noose, or zero
to the bone. Why not say a woman
need not be God's sacred vessel,
believing that her only worth?

Five years before Roe v. Wade.
Now men rage on courthouse steps.
They sob aloud for cameras.
Young men who resist being called
back and back, back, back, back
to the war are branded pussys
by fanatics for whom war is money.

Is there justice in the conflation?
A woman after abortion still loved.
Mothers of veterans of endless wars.
The word pussy . . . why not love
the portal of her body’s beauty?
without fear, dread, the living death
they endure, you endure, I endure:
I mean the body’s soul inside there.

So the rest of the car clammed up
the rest of the way. I did not care.
I looked at her. I loved her now
more after her ordeal than before.
She was glad to have it behind her.
She had her life back. I tried hard
to imagine and I could not, ever.

(27 May, 8 June 2012)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander

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