Death By Drowning: A Poem Written the Day After The Supreme Court Overturned Roe v. Wade by Marcia W. Mount Shoop

Today at 10:06am
I found him
belly up
only a little bloated
water his deep
dark grave.

Turn the bucket
Talk gently
“How long have you been
in here, friend?”

Turn him over
his final rest
decomposing leaves,
Poison Ivy canopy
Sets off the blue

The day before
he died
the Supreme Court ruled
people like me
unprotected corpses

Inseminated uterai
wards of the state

Crouched over death
I honor the smallest
slippery life
Birthing with
knees cradling
the slender canal two lives

I admire tiny details
the little toes
slender, perfect nose
a body made to
skim the edges of creation

Death came on the
rounded razor’s edge
A thirst, a hunger
Lured into darkness
footing taken away

That day I found
him, sunken, still
about me wished he
would live
finding his way
around the bucket’s lip

Sipping just enough
no slipping,
but moving on
to another
crumbling, teeming with
food for thousands more

Life deserves honor
Beauty, more pausing
Gauzy gentleness, draping,
softening the gaping
Marking the vigor,
swaddling the marrow,
the skeleton, the sorrow

Synapses now fallow
cycles ceasing
No more seizing
The day life begins and ends
there is brash quiet.

When my country
Draws his dagger
And holds it to my neck
I drop down, resisting
Persisting in fullness of
finitude, ruthless,

drowning us all. So I will
sit with this tiny family
longer. Me and the blue-tailed
skink in the shade
blood still on the blade
of a dangerous world.

Marcia Mount Shoop is an author, theologian, and minister. She is the Pastor/Head of Staff at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, Asheville, NC. Her newest book, released from Cascade Books in October 2015, is A Body Broken, A Body Betrayed: Race, Memory, and Eucharist in White-Dominant Churches, co-authored with Mary McClintock Fulkerson. Marcia is also the author of Let the Bones Dance: Embodiment and the Body of Christ (WJKP, 2010) and Touchdowns for Jesus and Other Signs of Apocalypse: Lifting the Veil on Big-Time Sports (Cascade, 2014).  Find out more at

5 thoughts on “Death By Drowning: A Poem Written the Day After The Supreme Court Overturned Roe v. Wade by Marcia W. Mount Shoop”

  1. Marcia, your words evoke so much truth. You have expressed so much of what I have been feeling the past few months and your poem is yet another perspective of what I think a number of recent FAR posts about abortion, life, and death have been voicing, each from a different life experience. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful and poignant words.


    1. Thank you, Carolyn. I am grateful for your words of affirmation and for the resonance. The cruelty of the world we live in can be a lot to bear, and sometimes I just can’t write in complete sentences anymore! Blessings to you.


  2. Powerful Powerful poem and I loved the way you juxtaposed lizard with us…to sit with an animal’s death is to be present to our own and surely you are doing this for all of us – thank you…. I too sat with a dead monarch chrysalis that I named Rosie even though I knew that she would have been born too late as a butterfly to survive to make a 3000 mile journey. I wanted her to live so much…. but could sense how nature cares for her own by taking them back. Only humans have it backwards – let them go – let us go – all these women and babies down through the ages – another holocaust.


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