I’m afraid I’m going to have to die today

even as my thoughts 



uneaten fish food flakes 

in a dirty goldfish bowl

I swim bloatedly,

serving rolls

to mothers who spread them with butter,

and hand them


to toddlers in high chairs.

They ask me when I am due.

I go about smiling 


and wonder…

did this mother


about dying too?

Was she overwhelmed

with protesters

offering unbearable choices,

demanding she consider

unthinkable options–

assuring her that no one

would come out of this alive

as poor as she was

as young as she was

something was going to have to die.

“You have your whole life ahead of you..”

As though she had no right to let a baby be part of it.

As though someone had to die.


Her baby.

As though they were separate things

as though her pregancy wasn’t part of her…

as though killing 

the part of her 

that made her

 a jelly Bellie swellie mama

was as easy as ordering a piece of pie

( although this is written in first person this is not something which I personally have gone through.  It is written for the women I’ve known who have been told they didn’t have the right to be … mothers)


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