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And Still They Come (for Dr. Sue)

By Gordon Cash

You scream your bullhorn lies, intimidate,
Harass, respect no law of man.  You speak
Of scalpels, sutures, and sterility,
Dismemberment, death by regret, all lies,
And bear false witness with each one against
Your neighbors – us, and all who come to us
With hope of better days.  And still they come.
The patients come, each seeking her own truth.

You rattle war, the war we never made,
Your made-up war you say we wage against
Your made-up victims, conscious and aware
In your hallucinations.  You make war
On us, ignore or call collateral
The pain and blood of woman-damage left
In all your battles' wakes.  And still they come.
The patients come, each seeking her own peace.

You preach of death, and call us murderers
Of quarter-size, translucent, formless disks.
Idolaters of blind, unfeeling cells,
You count for nothing those already born,
Their hopes, fears, agonies, their very selves,
For nothing all the morgue-slab failures of
Your fevered dogma dreams.  And still they come.
The patients come, each seeking her own life.

Added: Monday, May 2, 2016  /  Gordon Cash's poem was awarded third prize in the 2016 Abortion Rights Poetry Contest, co-sponsored by the in the Abortion Care Network and Split This Rock. We thank the special guest judge, Sonya Renee Taylor, for her generosity and discernment.
Gordon Cash

This poem is dedicated to Dr. Susan Wicklund, abortion provider (now retired) and author of the memoir This Common Secret.

Gordon Cash had already graduated from college when Roe v. Wade was decided, so he clearly remembers the bad old days. His 2011 science-fiction short story Thumbs, built on the absurdity of the "human life begins at conception" mindset. He lives in Annapolis, MD, works in Washington, DC, and looks forward to becoming more politically active when he retires in 2016.

Other poems by this author