A Chorus of Need: I Need an Abortion by Marie Cartier

I need an abortion and I can’t get one

Because I don’t have the money to fly somewhere else other than …here

Where I can’t get one

I need an abortion and I can’t get one

Because the kid, or the cells of a maybe kid, were put in here by the guy that raped me and if I have to have it, I will kill myself

I need an abortion and I can’t get one

Because I have four kids already and I can’t feed another one

I need an abortion and I can’t get one

Because it’s my dad’s…did you hear me say that? I have never said that. I have never said what he does to me…and now I have to show everyone… if I can’t get this out of me I will…

I have to get this thing out of me

I need an abortion and I can’t get one

Because I’m a Christian and this was just one time…and my parents will kick me out. He said he pulled out in time. And he won’t even admit now that it is his.

I need an abortion and I can’t get one

Because guess what? I’m thirty and I got hired as an airline stewardess and …I’m seeing a woman in Paris and – this just sort of happened one night here in LA and I don’t want this.

I don’t want this. Isn’t it my body? I don’t want this.

I need an abortion and I can’t get one

Because I am in my first year of college and something you did drunk shouldn’t be your whole life, I mean my whole life… I can’t believe this is happening to me

I need an abortion and I can’t get one

I can’t fucking get one—are you kidding–? My grandmother could have gotten one!

I need an abortion and I can’t get one

There is a meme on social media that says a woman doesn’t want an abortion like an ice cream cone or a Porsche (as if I would ever want that…)

She wants an abortion as an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg

…so maybe I get by with one leg. People do.

I need an abortion and I can’t get one

I can’t fucking get one! I’m screaming in my closet into a pillow, my best friend says we should take off …but how?

We’re both twelve.

 I need an abortion and I can’t get one

Because this baby has severe birth defects and I don’t have the money to take care of it. And I don’t have the time. And this is not my life. This is someone else’s idea of a life.

And I don’t want to live someone else’s idea of a life.

I need an abortion and I can’t get one

Because people who will never be in my situation—i.e., pregnant—decided for me.

I need an abortion and I can’t get one

I am googling how to do this with a coat hanger, or a coke squirted up inside you…or doing cartwheels or running—there is a picture of a coat hanger on the page…I’m fifteen…am I gonna stick that coat hanger up inside me? this is what this Southern feminist says about that: To be clear, these options are dangerous and may result in permanent injury or death.

I need an abortion and I can’t get one

Someone online says if you eat enough papaya, or sesame seeds, or parsley leaves or…cinnamon powder…how do you eat a lot of cinnamon powder?

…or drink enough chamomile tea, or mug wort tea…or take enough hot showers…or…but they also say it might not work. You have to wait a long time. See what happens. But I can’t wait a long time. I can’t wait at all.

I need an abortion and I can’t get one

Because I’ll be accused of murder.

I need an abortion and I can’t get one

Because the baby? Is it a baby? The baby died…and they are making me carry it. And I will move in front of a moving train. And there is a moving train in my town that drives by my house at noon.

And I will move in front of that train if this dead thing does not get out of my body.

I need an abortion and I can’t get one

I can’t…I can’t get one.

*

I sure do wish what I wanted was an ice cream cone

–Marie Cartier

June 27, 2022, with thanks to the Queerwise writing group, QUEERWISE

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.



Categories: Abuse of Power, General, Poetry, Women's Agency, Women's Power, Women's Rights, Women's Spirituality, Women's Voices

Tags: , , , , ,

4 replies

  1. You leave the breath squeezed out of my lungs.
    Breathless on the tracks in front of a moving train. A parallel universe. Where the fuck are we anymore……
    I love you Maria Cartier.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Powerful statement, and important. It reminds me of one that I wrote in 1970, when abortion was legal in New York and had just become legal, but very complicated, here in Canada. I saw a poem in a local newspaper that started “today my mother killed me” and went on to say that “I” would never see a sunrise or pat a dog, etc. So I wrote “today daddy hit mommy”, “today mommy didn’t have anything to eat” and ended “I wish I was dead”. The newspaper not only printed it, they offered me a job.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OH my god Marie – just reading this puts me over the edge – how much heartbreak must we endure????? Some women everywhere under threat of death one way or the other.

    Like

  4. That poem touched my heart. Miss ya, Dr. Cartier.

    Like

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