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Thursday, October 14, 2021


by Laurie Rosen

Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz/AMS via The Washington Post.

I am 35, 
I am 19, 
I am 12. 

Put a bounty on my head,
on my confidants and advisers
my doctor, too. 
Sue the office administrators,
the taxi driver that brought me.

Come for me with handcuffs.
Restrain my arms behind my back,
haul me off to jail.
Lock me up behind bars, 
Throw away the key.

Call me a murderer, baby killer. 
Selfish, hateful. 
I plead guilty. I don’t deny it. 
But, look me in the eyes 
and tell me I am not speaking 
your story or your lover’s,
your sister’s, your best friend’s,
maybe even your daughter’s. 

I am 35, mark my body   state controlled,  
I am 19, proclaim my uterus   conscripted,
I am 12, classify my heartbeat   irrelevant.

Laurie Rosen is a lifelong New Englander. Her poems have appeared in Sisyphus, The Muddy River Poetry Review, Oddball Magazine, Soul-Lit, The New Verse News, and elsewhere.