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Above Average

By Lindsay Vaughn

Women who are not ready  we have our own ways

we take pills lie in our lovers’ beds

curled like blades of grass we wait for the writhing wind

that aches and rocks our slender bodies  they whisper

against our necks untruths  the words that make us endure

The danger passes through me underground  I have

color in my face again  I lie on a clinic bed

while a cold probe enters me  I hear that the state

of my uterus is above average   I am left

alone (again) with an image on a screen turned toward the wall

as if they thought I might not look

I was not always so big and so sure   you who fed  held me

took my photograph as I lay amongst the blades

tell me who I was  am  should be  I move from room to room

bed to bed  page to page  I wake and roll over

Through the window the sudden stillness of trees  like a film on pause

Added: Thursday, July 24, 2014  /  Vaughn's poem tied for Third Place in the 2013 Abortion Rights Poetry Contest. Split This Rock is proud to co-sponsor this contest with the Abortion Care Network.

Lindsay Vaughan is an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She works as a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader based in Oakland. She lives with her partner who is also a poet. Shoot her an email, if you feel so inclined, at

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