Respect Life Sunday

“Breathe for me,” they haunt my prayer
with infant dreams of drawing air.
I shrink from sharp and sudden fear.
I shrink because the knife is near.
I feel a light initial blow–
but to the death my dreams don’t go.

If you could only hear and see
the interest group that lobbies me–
whose privacy is not a right,
whose lives will end before tonight–
how quickly you would mark the ruse:
a woman’s right to plan and choose.

A century beyond our own
will marvel at the evil done:
the terror and the salt and blood
in clean suburban neighborhoods;
the killing of one child in five
while you and I were here, alive.