Monday, December 25, 2006

"For two women shot to death in Brookline, Massachusetts"

I just came across this poem today, and found it too powerful not to share.

"For two women shot to death in Brookline, Massachusetts"
by Marge Piercy

How dare a woman choose?
Choose to be pregnant
choose to be childless
choose to be lesbian
choose to have two lovers or none
choose to abort
choose to live alone
choose to walk alone
at night
choose to come and to go
without permission
without leave
without a man.

Consider a woman's blood
spilled on a desk,
pooled on an office floor,
an ordinary morning at work,
an ordinary morning of helping
other women choose
to be or not to be

A woman young and smiling
sitting at a desk
trying to put other women at ease
now bleeds from five
large wounds, bleeding
from her organs bleeding out her life.

A young man is angry at women
women who say no
women who say maybe and mean no
women who won't
women who do and they shouldn't.
If they are pregnant they are bad
because that proves
they did it with someone,
they did it
and should die.

A man gets angry with a woman
who decides to leave him
who decides to walk off
who decides to walk
who decides.

Women are not real to such men.
They should behave as meat.
Such men drag them into the
woods and stab them
climb in their windows and rape them
such men shoot them in kitchens
such men strangle them in
bed such men lie in wait
and ambush them in parking lots
such men walk into a clinic
and kill the first woman they see.

In harm's way:
meaning in the way of a man
who is tasting his anger
like rare steak.
A daily ordinary courage
doing what has to be done
every morning, every afternoon
doing it over and over
because it is needed
put them in harm's way.

Two women dying
because a man chose that they die.
Two women dying
because they did their job
helping other women survive.
Two women dead
from the stupidity of an ex altar boy
who saw himself
as a fetus
who pumped his sullen fury
into the woman in front of him
twice, and intended more.

Stand up now and say No More.
Stand up now and say We will not
be ruled by crazies and killers,
by shotguns and bombs and acid.
We will not dwell in the caves of fear.
We will make each other strong.
We will make each other safe.
There is no other monument.

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