Today I wore pearls,
small beads clinging to my neck for comfort.
Disturbing news from the courts –
fifty years of progress, erased in a heartbeat.
Suddenly I am five again,
hearing that someday I will have a baby.
It never happened.
A disease ended my chances.
Birth control kept death at bay.
Surgery saved my life.
Had this happened today, I would die a slow,
People would shrug, and say “Ah, too bad.”
Extreme pro-lifers and pro-birthers
would smile their smug smiles
and say what a nice life I had.
From the grave I would scream
“Thou art unfit for any place but hell.”*
Slowly my pearls begin to chant “I dissent.”
My heart joins the chorus.
I am powerful in the face of the enemy.
The beast hates strong women.
He plans to destroy our futures –
Six minions carried out his vile deed.
we will not be silenced.
Our lives are worth more than what cis men can ever imagine.
We are more than wombs and eggs
and objects to control and rape.
We are more than incubators
for the coming of the Fourth Reich.
We are not to be trifled with,
as Medea showed those who doubted.
The pearls swirl around me,
gaining power from all women
who have been disregarded as less.
My heart calls
*(Richard III Act 1, Scene 2, Shakespeare)
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Sue Cook lives in Freeport, Illinois with her husband Randy and two dogs. Her passions include assistance dogs, rescue dogs, music, acting, theater, poetry, and Doctor Who. She’s been in both film and theater and is a regular cast member of the podcast Doctor Who’s Line is it….Anyway? Sue is an advocate for the use of Service Dogs to assist their disabled handlers to maintain their independence. Quigley’s Quest, her first children’s book, addresses how a dog becomes a Service Dog.