Right To Life
By Marge Piercy
A woman is not a basket you place
your buns in to keep them warm. Not a brood
hen you can slip duck eggs under.
Not the purse holding the coins of your
descendants till you spend them in wars.
Not a bank where your genes gather interest
and interesting mutations in the tainted
rain, any more than you are.
You plant corn and you harvest
it to eat or sell. You put the lamb
in the pasture to fatten and haul it in to
butcher for chops. You slice the mountain
in two for a road and gouge the high plains
for coal and the waters run muddy for
miles and years. Fish die but you do not
call them yours unless you wished to eat them.
Now you legislate mineral rights in a woman.
You lay claim to her pastures for grazing,
fields for growing babies like iceberg
lettuce. You value children so dearly
that none ever go hungry, none weep
with no one to tend them when mothers
work, none lack fresh fruit,
none chew lead or cough to death and your
orphanages are empty. Every noon the best
restaurants serve poor children steaks.
At this moment at nine o’clock a partera
is performing a table top abortion on an
unwed mother in Texas who can’t get
Medicaid any longer. In five days she will die
of tetanus and her little daughter will cry
and be taken away. Next door a husband
and wife are sticking pins in the son
they did not want. They will explain
for hours how wicked he is,
how he wants discipline.
We are all born of woman, in the rose
of the womb we suckled our mother’s blood
and every baby born has a right to love
like a seedling to sun. Every baby born
unloved, unwanted, is a bill that will come
due in twenty years with interest, an anger
that must find a target, a pain that will
beget pain. A decade downstream a child
screams, a woman falls, a synagogue is torched,
a firing squad is summoned, a button
is pushed and the world burns.
I will choose what enters me, what becomes
of my flesh. Without choice, no politics,
no ethics lives. I am not your cornfield,
not your uranium mine, not your calf
for fattening, not your cow for milking.
You may not use me as your factory.
Priests and legislators do not hold shares
in my womb or my mind.
This is my body. If I give it to you
I want it back. My life
is a non-negotiable demand.
Ever since I've had a blog (daily since 2002 though really I started on Blogger a couple of years earlier), I've had a "politics: abortion" tag. And in all that time, I have never stopped saying that Roe was never going to be permanent protection for reproductive rights and we had to keep voting for the right people, and writing to those people, and donating to organizations that helped people who needed it. And I have never wanted to be wrong as badly as this morning -- I know we all had the warning a few weeks ago with the leak, but some part of me hoped that three justices appointed by someone who tried to overthrow a lawfully elected government and one person whose wife did everything she could to help someone overthrow a lawfully elected government would somehow be prevented from taking rights away from half the citizens of the U.S.
Otherwise, it was nice out; we walked and saw a hummingbird in addition to bunnies. We had dinner with my parents, who brought in Grand Fusion so I got Thai basil tofu, plus Paul made a pie for dessert with the blueberries we picked last weekend. When we got home, we watched Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness long-distance on Disney+ with Cheryl (I'm switching universes), and I talked to Adam who had a flood under his kitchen sink but his landlord got it fixed. Now we're watching The Boys -- an episode about a disgusting superhero orgy taking advantage of non-enhanced sex workers, with tons of violence that I'd usually hate, but they also did a parody of Gal Gadot's "Imagine" with a bunch of real-world celebrities as well as supes and I love how much this show hates America. Farm animals at Butler's Orchard: