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Thursday, May 16, 2019


by George Held

The governor’s statement places
the key word, “God,” in the place

of emphasis, at the end, where
it makes the most of her pious case

but most offends those who question
when a fetus has become a “life”

or even doubt there is a god,
at least one who can give sacred gifts,

and those who believe that a woman’s life
is her own to join in sex with whomever

she wants and once pregnant whether
or not to delete that tiny comma without

the intervention of the almighty state.
What sort of Handmaid’s Tale

is ‘Bama spinning here now that its Senate
and the Court are packed with Medieval

men of the Right who consign women
to the stove and the marital bed,

where all conception is authorized
by a Fundamentalist Godhead.

What country is this where theocracy
struts its stuff in public and democracy

hides under the bed to avoid
a vengeful thrashing? My count-

try, ’tis of me, I sing, sweet place
of Liberty, of thee I sing . . .

George Held, a frequent contributor to TheNewVerse.News and other periodicals, has received ten Pushcart Prize nominations and published or edited twenty-two poetry books.