A Poem by Christine Taylor

An Abortion Clinic Escort’s Dolores Umbridge

 

 

Traffic clamors

up Engle Street.

 

She arrives in her sparkly white

Mercedes Benz convertible

parks across the street from the clinic.

From the trunk, she retrieves

her toolkit:  a canvas fanny-pack stuffed

with strings of cheap blue rosary beads

plastic fetus dolls

pamphlets for Rachel’s Vineyard.

 

She is doing God’s work

chasing patients

from their cars to the door

her voice gossamer

over my shoulder

as I escort a patient

tangled in a web of self-doubt

her scurrying alongside

shoving beads

shoving dolls

shoving pamphlets

 

         Moms deserve love and support, not abortion!

 

When I take the patient’s shaking hand

her skin is cold.

So is mine.

 

The sidewalk is uneven.

 

Once the clinic door closes

I turn and meet her face

small upturned nose

shell-pink lips

the soft lines of her cheeks

a kindness that collects--

 

I’d rather the screamers

with their filth and vitriol

the prating about sinners and Jesus

the taunts over Margaret Sanger

the posters of mutilated bodies and blood

at least I know what I’m getting.

 

She is doing God’s work

chasing patients

from the door to their cars

her voice honey

over my shoulder

as I escort a patient

limbs heavy

her scurrying behind

offering support

offering prayer

offering forgiveness

 

         God loves you, and He can help you!

 

When I take the patient’s trembling hand

a moan rumbles deep in her throat.

My gut quakes.

 

The tree hangs too low.

 

Across the street from the clinic

into the trunk of her sparkly white

Mercedes Benz convertible

she stuffs her toolkit

covers the blue rosary beads

plastic fetus dolls

pamphlets

with a wide-brimmed sun hat.

 

The engine purrs

down the one-way street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christine Taylor, a multiracial English teacher and librarian, resides in her hometown Plainfield, New Jersey.  She is the EIC of Kissing Dynamite: A Journal of Poetry. Her work appears in Modern Haiku, Glass:  A Journal of Poetry, Room, and The Rumpus among others. She can be found at www.christinetayloronline.com.  Follow her on Twitter @cetaylorplfd.


 


 

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