Letter: Roe v Wade: a poem

We must show them the volume of our loud majority

Nice to meet you


It’s nice to meet you

Do you come here often?

What’s your sign?

Wait, what time were you born?

Can I see your birth chart?

Not that one

I want to see a new one:

the one that is a map

The one that charts the pathways between every fibre of your essence,

aligns the molecules of your soul

That connects the rivers of passion and rage and sorrow

that flow through your connective tissue,

pouring through the generations,

filling your cup with everything you hold dear

The one that makes up your history

That speaks your great grandmother’s words from your mother’s mouth

Maps a family tree in your veins

As if every ancestor’s breath fills your lungs

and each heartbeat was in their honour

Your fingers pointing out to their stars,

once the twinkles in their eyes

When were you born?

Better yet, when did you come alive?

Alive to feel it, really feel it

Thank the Good Christian God™ that I’m alive right now

in this moment

What a privilege it is

to see the rise

The rise of the ones who have always risen

The rise of those who were higher than any of us anyway

The ones propelled upward from canons shot downward

Aimed at those who were already being buried

Aimed at those who were told they cannot fight back

Aimed at those downstream of the status quo

with the weight of the relentless machine kneeling on their necks,

crushing their windpipes,

erasing their lifeforce

Aimed right in their faces but told not to see it that way

What colour do you see?

When they tell you not to see colour

When every vote doesn’t count

and every life doesn’t matter

When they say it’s about life,

but not when it’s yours

Not when it’s mine

Not when it’s children being gunned down

and books being burned

Not when it’s mothers going septic

and rapists being acquitted

Not with the water left poisoned,

and the sisters left missing

And those meant to serve us taking our lives every day

Our future going up in putrid smoke

Deny, deny, deny

Not the right time

When did the life you know feel lost to you?

Me too

But I must ask you:

What is your rising sign?

Not that one,

but the sign of your rising

When did the thrill of the fight begin to call to you?

When did the rage burning in your guts finally boil over?

Spill onto the fire your ancestors lit for you

Sending smoke signals to your sisters

Like so many pyres from witches past

The injustice screaming its ugly taunts in the distance

Harkening every last one of us,

defiant as the machine turns on

When did you feel it?

The undeniable buzz

The electric connection

Like we all burst forth from the same womb

Like we all share the same purpose

Like we all charge from the same source

Share the same broken heart,

the collective disbelief

and the magnetic draw to will the rightness

back into being

Back where it belongs

As if life itself depended

on us

because it does

So, I have to know:

What’s on your playlist?

What will be the soundtrack to your capitol storm?

To score and underscore,

drown out their empty pleas

Hollowed by the promises of false freedoms

Hollowed by archaic protections that no longer apply to them

Hollowed by their violent inaction through decades of chances

Follow the distant hum of our battle drums

Growing louder with every girl told they are less than,

every person denied their very existence,

beating fiercely to the rhythm of our collective technicolor hearts

As we take matters into our own hands

As we stop letting them trample us

As we attack back

Because they tell you your voice doesn’t matter

Like you’re not saying the right things

Act as if they can’t hear the message

amidst the screaming crowds,

boots marching,

tanks rolling,

the wailing bodies thrown into the heap

The ones that begged for their lives

only to be told it’s not theirs to beg for

So we’ll do the begging


Our chants tuned to the ones our grandmothers used,

shrill and impolite

Leather jackets and steel toe boots

paired with the F*** You Red lipstick

Saying those somehow radical words

we never should have needed again

This is yet another moment in history

We must show them the volume of our loud majority

Show them what exactly we are made of

Remind them that we made

what they are made of

And we will not go unheard

For it was vaginas who brought them into this world

And it’s vaginas who will vote them out

and reshape the Earth in our image

Birth it from the wombs of our fiery souls

into something they could have seen coming

if they just listened the first time

Welcome to the fight

It’s so nice to meet you

Jane Steward



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