Let Me Live


Baby Noah miscarried at 12 weeks.  Photo from patheos.com.


This poem was written in commemoration of the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Since then, 58.5 million babies have been aborted.

Let us pray for mercy.
Let us pray for restoration of all that has been broken.
Let us love well these mothers and fathers who are in our lives.

Healing is found in the presence of Jesus alone.

I am dependent, but does that make me inhuman?
I am vulnerable, does that make me unalive?
A single cell may be alive, but not I?
My zygotic frame is part of you, and formed from you,
But not you.
I am me. I am fully me.
Yet I need you.

I am dependent.
I cannot live disengaged from the nourishing safety of this, my first home.
(Yet is it safe?)
Can your world’s children live so disconnected from their parent’s care?
They cannot! nor need they.
For they are protected because they are needy.
And what of me?
Does not vulnerability increase protective instinct?
Yet not for me?
Will you treat your pets like children,
And slaughter me, your own kind,
Faster than a rodent fiend inside your home?

I am defenseless.
I can do nothing for myself.
I cannot eat; I cannot breathe.
I cannot run or cry out,
I cannot scream that one caring soul would hear and rescue me.
But I can feel, be sure.
I can feel the pain of my body dismembered,
My limbs ripped apart,
My tiny infant frame dissolved.
You don’t know the horror and fright
Of that sharp messenger of pain and death
Haunting my incompletely fashioned form.
Yet in screaming… throttled anguish,
I cannot make a case for my own life.
Will no one advocate my cause? my life?
I myself will sit in the stand. Try me.
What have I done deserving death?
Simply exist? Simply come to be?
Yet does that burden lie on me?

I do not know, you say, that I am even alive.
Yet is my humanity negated by my unawares?
Let me ask you this: are you still human in your sleep?
I do not look, you say, that I am even human.
Yet even your prophets (or scientists, I should say) confess appearances deceiving.
There is more human in me than Mr. Java, Piltdown, and Peking together.
Yet their case is proposed, pleaded, evidenced,
While mine? Dismissed and undermined, assumed moot.
Is no one there to plead and fight for me?
There is enough of me to effect completely formed personhood;
A human, I tell you, with your likeness stamped upon me.
Is it truly lack of knowledge that does not know when life befits me,
Or simply chosen ignorance to keep excusing murder, oppression, sin?
Search your deepest heart and tell me still you do not know.

O cultured world,
That spurns those who offer their children on the altars of their gods,
While you offer your own on the altars of free pleasure and hidden shame.
A holocaust of worship to the gods of your own making —
Gods whose gifts only take with hands always empty.
While here in this nest I dwell, and watch the hands of infinite love
That perfectly weave together the inmost parts of my mortal frame
Halted by human wisdom claiming superiority to infinity.
Only may those hands receive me hereafter!
When yours will receive me only dead.

Does your mind see only my inconvenience?
What about my eyes?
What about my baby smiles?
My birthday parties and cake-smeared face?
Can you feel nothing but your own shame?
What of my pain? What of my joy?
Can you hear only the snide remarks of others?
Or your conscience screaming guilt to your soul?
Have you tuned out my cooing and giggles?
Oh, do not think of your gain in my death;
Ponder rather your loss.

Your arms may never hold me, but your heart will.
Your arms will ache for years when I am gone.
While my arms will never know warm embraces,
Only the cold, unfeeling touch of the doctor’s metal tongs
Shouting “Death!” to my infant ears.
My poet’s heart will never feel the sun or wind or rain,
But will you kiss them goodbye for me?
My infant ears will never entertain a lullaby,
But will you sing them anyway for me?
My artist’s hands will never paint (on walls or canvas),
But will your hands paint for me?
My will will never get to choose;
You have chosen for me.

Mother, there is one thing only I wish that I could say:
“I forgive you.”
One thing only I wish that I could ask:
“Let me live!”