Fecundity: the ability to produce an abundance of new growth, but also the ability to produce new ideas
And now in the hour of our discontent, we are asked to worry about
fecundity. I suppose we can call it that—have we made enough babies yet?
As a people. A people ruled by patriarchy. No small thing. “A social system in which males dominate and hold primary power.”
Oh my god—am I sick of it? Anyone with a brain is sick of it…I want to think.
But they have brains, right? The afore mentioned patriarchs? Who are
creating this new social system?
A meme goes out on social media—I’m not pro-murder I’m pro-Ellen, thirteen years old and pregnant by her father
I’m pro-Margaret, with five kids and I cannot to afford to feed another
I’m pro-Eliza, pregnant with a baby known to have serious birth defects
I’m pro– you get the idea.
We are fecund with a lack. Of women’s autonomy. Steinem, the original Ms. said they will always draw us back to the abortion rights table—
To keep us busy.
Well, I’ve been busy.
It is one week in these United States since the Supreme Court documents were leaked
that the Court intends, the conservative majority intends, to overthrow fifty years of settled law and force women to have babies, and outlaw abortion.
This is an occasional poem, A poem on the occasion of.
I am a rape survivor, and so are most, not many, not a few, but most of the women I know. So, I am not unusual. I am usual, ordinary, my life is the life of many. It is fecund and reproducing… the conditions of my early life where women didn’t have power.
A rapist can wait you out if you go to trial and you will have to have the baby.
And, “in the case of rape or incest” is not even in play right now…that…exception.
On the occasion of a woman’s body once again, again again…a battleground (thank you Barbara Kruger) here we are…fecund with fear…multiplying.
My students are sad, scared, paranoid, angry…and resilient. And they live, at least right now, in California where abortion is guaranteed by the state.
Oh, beautiful bodies of fertile women, of fertile people – may your lives be your own, may your may your eggs be your own… this day after Mother’s Day that I am writing this poem…on the occasion of.
May you be allowed…may you fight for…the right to mother, to parent, what you choose… may it be a child, if it is your choice
May it be a book, a dance, a drawing, a law career, a life of travel across Europe, or around the globe, by yourself, may you mother adventure, may you mother your heart opening to another of your choice or to your single self.
Fertile women, fertile people, I see you.
I have been an activist my whole life. My fertile and now not in the strictest sense, but still fertile body.
This body has lain down…a body among many over and over. All of us who have done this for so long, for so much, we will continue. Shoulder to shoulder to shoulder to shoulder.
I call on the known Goddesses of fertility:
And others: Aphrodite, Artemis, Fecunditas, Innana, Bastet, Freyja, Taweret, all of you unnamed and of so many names—I call on you. Let us be fertile with what we choose.
May the fertility of people be of their choosing. May their lives be fecund with choice, with choices.
Blessings: fierce and wild. And…so…
May there be warrior tracks of fertile women running for their lives, that others may follow.
May a path be forged as always, this path that has been forged before, let it be forged again and again.
All goddesses all goddesses. Run with them.
Show them the way to stand and fight.
And when it is time, if it is time, show them the way…to escape.
- Marie Cartier, May 2022, with thanks to QueerWise QUEERWISE writing group
BIO: Marie Cartier is a teacher, poet, writer, healer, artist, and scholar. She holds a BA in Communications from the University of New Hampshire; an MA in English/Poetry from Colorado State University; an MFA in Theatre Arts (Playwriting) from UCLA; an MFA in Film and TV (Screenwriting) from UCLA; an MFA in Visual Art (Painting/Sculpture) from Claremont Graduate University; and a Ph.D. in Religion with an emphasis on Women and Religion from Claremont Graduate University.