Saturday, February 12, 2011

To the Oklahoma Lawmakers: poem

[trigger warning for mention of sexual assault]

I found this on tumblr. It's amazing.

To the oklahoma lawmakers who will force all women to receive an ultrasound prier to an abortion:

Why don’t you print out the ultrasound pictures out in a pastel frame? Make me take them home and hang them on my wall as a souvenir of the night that is branded like red coals to flesh on my memory, the night when his hand pressed so hard against my shoulder blade I felt more intimacy with asphalt.

Why don’t you knit the baby a sweater? Make me take it out and smell it on the anniversary of this day for the rest of my life to remind me that I chose to be a murderer instead of bringing a child into a world where we kill people in the name of freedom but imprison people in the name of life. You could pass laws for that too, you know.

It’s bad enough that I can still see his handprints on my thighs but now I can see your probing eyes scraping across my cervix, tattooing my womb with shame. Why don’t you send me a card every mother’s day to remind me of how wretched I am? Sign it, “your friends at the state capital, making sure you know we actually do something all day with your tax dollars.”

Look: I know it can get boring, between the [??] association breakfast and the oil and gas industry lunch and I know you need something to do between screwing up our election system and passing off your racism as an immigration bill, but I need a little more from you than a piece of paper.

I mean, if you really want to show me that you believe in faith, family, and freedom, then why don’t you come along for the ride? I could have used you that night, after the football game, him finally showing me attention, me grasping for acceptance. Tell me I’m special so when he hands me the next drink I don’t look to the bottom of it for approval. Tell me to scream louder so someone might find us. Wrap me in a blanket when he’s done. Take me home, my body a [??], my heart the grimy gym floor after the pep rally. Give me the words to say to my parents when I come out of the bathroom with a plus sign on the stick, and he won’t even talk to me. The school hallway is a canyon. Silence echoes in my skull, and I don’t know what to do. Tell me what to do. Sit with me at the clinic, the ticker plucking away at my innocence, give me the REVELATION that the blip on the screen is actually a baby. Take me home when I change my mind, take me to the doctor every month, hold my hand in the delivery room. I will name him after you if you will help me do my homework when he’s crying in the next room. give me food stamps, pay my gas bills, put him in an after-school program where he learns he can sell my pain pills, have mercy on him when he goes to court, give me strength when they sentence him.

If you wanna play god, mister and misses law makers, if you want to write your bible on my organs, you better be there when I am down on my knees, pleading for relief from your morality.


  1. Why can't laws be made by people who actually understand the people they are making them for?

  2. Imagine if you can, a young girl is raped by a family member. The poor child then has to be violated again by medical personel.

    Yeah, let's hurt the victim further. I mean, it was her fault, after all.

  3. What a great poem! It gave me goose bumps.

    It's my understanding that an ultrasound is required in Virginia prior to having an abortion, but that's only to ensure pregnancy. They don't sit there and describe the baby. That's fucking ridiculous.

    This part of the law passed in OK is crazy, too. "A second measure passed into law on Tuesday prevents women who have had a disabled baby from suing a doctor for withholding information about birth defects while the child was in the womb."

    Oklahoma's lawmakers are fucking ridiculous.

  4. I heart all of you guys.

    April: I remember hearing about that law when it was being passed. It's completely infuriating.

  5. Just read a great quote: “If a woman should be forced to see a sonogram of her unborn fetus before an abortion, shouldn’t military decision-makers be forced to visit the civilians they bomb?” — Usuallyskeptical (on tumblr)

  6. I believe the missing words are these:
    between the [pork] association breakfast

    my body a [tapped keg]


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