Explaining the Antis: A Poem


The women I can’t explain.

They know what it is to have sex that you didn’t really want—
To have part of you yearn for pregnancy even if no part wants to mother—
To have life turn into chaos no matter how much you try–
To know you are the second rate of the species just because that has been the litany for 4,000 years.
The women I can’t explain.
 
But the men, I totally get.
 
Through their eyes they see abortion the way they see what’s true for them.
            It’s war, or murder of ‘the other’.
They can’t imagine the intimacy that pregnancy is.
They can’t begin to fathom the paradox of something that is both one and two—can’t understand the riddle that the most loving act  sometimes means ending life—can’t get it that their ideas of good and bad are useless kindergarten slogans next to the everyday choices of women and mothers all over the planet.
 
I wrote once, “women are not the enemies of their children. Even those they choose not to bring into the world.”
 
That’s the enigma, the puzzle, the mystery that as much as anything else separates the genders into different worlds.
 
When will we stand up and say fiercely
That we claim our right to know what we know?
© Charlotte Taft 8/26/11

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