The Abortionist’s Chair

Candice Louisa Daquin, Poem

the abortionists chair
not leather, for leather is thirsty
this chair is wreathed in glossy rubber
that can be wiped down and disinfected
to mute the smell of blood
this chair does not owe its shape
to comfort, nor seeks it
nay, the very contour is built upon a premise
bringing life should not be a sentence
women are not incubators
nor second-class citizens who
have no right to their own
crown of thorns that is choice
these women and girls
climb into the chair tearfully
the tears are not because they are forced
to leave behind a piece of them
but the slow sorrow of particular relief
regret that contraception failed
regret that he left her destitute
regret this is her 6th pregnancy and she is unwell
regret life is hard and she cannot, she cannot
bring a child into the world
relief that she has a choice.
Before entering the clinic, they watch from their car
swells of protesters with plastic babies attached to placards
chant and throng hate and intolerance
thinking how little has changed in 400 years
how if nobody was watching
that crowd would fall upon the girl, the woman
and have her bloody guts for garters
if they could get away with it
a murder of crows, the sycophant irony
they are trying to save just as they
fantasize about killing.
These women trapped in their cars stare at colorless clouds
a chain of ants climbs along cement walkway
easily crushed, invisible to us, these women feel
a simpatico; the worth of life, of value, of other’s moral high-ground
as those who believe themselves untouchable, eat with their heavy knife and fork
bleeding steak at lunchtime pontification
lashing the sin of woman, swallowing globs of meat
without thought of the dumb beast who trawled
to the slaughter yard in a cart of wide-eyed animals
who knew they were going to die
facing it without words.
The chair has seen the doctor
wiping her brow as she gives freedom of choice back to women
whose womb holds the viability of that life, not politicians
whose legs pucker with the cold of heavy instruments
and they say she chose this as a form of contraception?
They say she is evil and has no compassion?
They who would have her led like muted cow to slaughter
speaking on her behalf, feigning they speak for her murdered child
painting easy shame to denigrate her dignity as life bearer
which necessarily includes a symbiotic understanding
it’s never that simple and you can’t speak for me!
How society thinks they own bodies but won’t pay maternity leave
believing a coat-hanger legacy unworthy
no reason to grant real lasting equality
as her body roils with morning sickness
as she knows she cannot bring a child into this world
this world of carnivores eating steak at lunchtime
gazing at the fine legs of a slender waisted woman
walking from the bar and back to bring them a drink
the very same men and women who pervert justice
calling a girl, a whore if she drank before she was raped
a child ‘gagging for it’ if she wore a short skirt
asking; are you sure you didn’t lead him on?
Thinking a prostitute unworthy of consideration
rape a corrective necessity for lesbians.
These things are not footnotes in history
they happen every day
a world that still doesn’t grant equality for women
thinking it preferable to
spray paint clinics, shut them down, starve them of resources
shoot their staff, shame those women who
knew they couldn’t bring a child into the world
didn’t want to be an incubator for an adoption agency
who profits adopting out babies of young mothers
whom they have guilted into remaining pregnant
because any abortion is a sin, don’t you know you will go to Hell?
But isn’t Hell a place where you are a second-class-citizen?
Your rights eroded; your body controlled
by all means choose, keep a baby, or not
but to have no say in what happens in your womb?
Hell is shame placed on your every action — trapped, trapped, trapped
yes, I would say that is hell
a world where clinics are closed and protesters have nowhere to hate anymore
so, they come up with something else
(because they will)
it’s not even about sparing little defenseless babies
if that were true, they’d give a damn about all those unwanted kids of color in foster care
it’s hate of convenience, a conviction of superiority, a penchant for judgement
extended through the laws of patriarchy and beyond
twisting religion and doctrine to your will, as if you speak for Gods
controlling what others do with their bodies, like you are one
even in cases of rape and incest because; it’s not the innocent child’s fault, meting out the sentence
let’s ask ourselves then, whose fault is it? A society where rape isn’t taken seriously or punished?
Or people who think a survivor’s rights are worthless?
The abortionist’s chair is gathering dust
and some people cheer this as they bite into
their $50 dollar steak and pieces of a life far more sentient when it was ended
get stuck like slivers of placenta
in their righteous clenched teeth.
Who then, we ask
is the greater criminal?
The woman who seeks choice or the hypocrite who denies her
the solace of saying what her own body
will bear?