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Friday, March 31, 2006


by Mary Saracino

It’s a crying shame, you know,
how those folks in South Dakota
laid down the law that terminated a woman’s
sovereign rule over her own womb.
They aborted our rights to decide
for ourselves what’s best for our lives,
for our families. They claim it’s
convenience we seek,
as if women cavalierly opt for expediency
over motherhood, stopping by
the medical clinic on a whim, ducking in
for a quick visit en route from work
to home, as if an abortion were simply
another item to cross off our to-do list,
as routine as swinging by
the fast-food drive-thru window for a burger,
processing our vacation pictures
at the one-hour photo shop,
or grabbing a Slurpee at the 7-11 —
just something else to cram into
an already harried day. Morning sickness,
and that bloated feeling, just bogs a girl down,
makes us crazy, impulsive,
compels us to do things without
discernment, those legislators just
have to protect us from our rash, reckless selves,
as if our uteruses ran roughshod
over our brains, as if those lawmakers
could cleave open our minds,
peer clear down into our souls, decipher
our intentions, our reasons, the whys and wherefores
of our most intimate decisions.
After all, life’s too precious, too precarious
to entrust to fickle females, I mean
the whole human race would perish
if procreation were laid in our laps,
don’t you think? That’s too much
responsibility for a mere girl to handle.

Mary Saracino is a novelist, memoir writer, and poet who lives in Denver, CO. Her newest novel The Singing of Swans is to be published by Pearlsong Press in the fall of 2006.