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"Right To Life," Marge Piercy

Discussion in 'Poetry' started by Guitar's Cry, Jun 26, 2022.

  1. Guitar's Cry

    Guitar's Cry The "I" in Reality

    Oct 18, 2006
    Panreligious mystical paganism
    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.

    -Marge Piercy
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  2. Sand Dancer

    Sand Dancer Crazy Cat Lady

    Jan 12, 2013
    Spiritual but not Religious
    Very powerful.
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  3. RayofLight

    RayofLight Pronouns: they/them/their thon/thons/thonself

    Nov 21, 2018
    Pagan Witch and Demonolatrist
    Bodily autonomy. Thats what this boils down to. And like the poem points out pretty much women deserve autonomy. I'd also would add transmen and some nonbinary folk in that mix. They deserve autonomy as well in this issue.
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  4. Guitar's Cry

    Guitar's Cry The "I" in Reality

    Oct 18, 2006
    Panreligious mystical paganism
    Very true!
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