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My Sister

By Devreaux Baker

Last night my sister came to my table

Trailing stories from the other world

Trailing remnants of all our mother’s people

She spoke words that fell from her mouth

Like amulets or a voodoo curse

Against that long line of men

That taught their sons to rape women

Last night my long dead sister came to my table

She said this is what I did

Drove myself to that alley

On the side street of New Castle Bridge

Walked four blocks to the door with the paint

Peeling off it’s front where the drunk lying in the gutter

Told me to knock three times and this is what I did

It was a man with no name who took me inside

Said lay down and stick this rag in your mouth

Said don’t be looking at me

Said this is gonna hurt

Said you came to me cause you aint got no money

And this is against the law in this land

So shut your mouth and open your legs

And this is what I did

I walked back down his stairs

And walked four blocks back

To my car

I drove myself home and

He was right

I had no place to go

I had to carry the weight of his knife

Inside my body, the way he pushed me out

His door

Last night my sister’s ghost sat down

To break bread at my table

She said this is what I did

Lay in my bed alone after he did that back alley abortion

Until I felt my soul bleed out of my body

And I flew above all the dirty rooms

And saw the girls just like me

With no place to go

Except to a man with no name

Ready to take their money

And push them out the door

At the end of a hallway

Four blocks from anywhere you might know.

Added: Thursday, July 24, 2014  /  Baker's poem won Second Prize in the 2013 Abortion Rights Poetry Contest. Split This Rock is proud to co-sponsor this contest with the Abortion Care Network.