March for Women's Lives: Washington, D.C. April 25, 2004

women in slips in public

at the opera, hamburger joints and protest rallys

pink slips for joker presidents

in help wanted poker decks

of intermittent positive reinforcement,

intermittent positive reinforcement

intermit,

intermittent,

inter, in ter, in to her—stay out of her

body—my body, mine,

private property, no trespassing.

It may be barren, but the thoughts and words it creates are mine.

Words that hum and swing in crazy dances

on highways strewn with cranberries.

I believe so deeply

in a woman's right to choose and everywhere,

everywhere, babies and pregnant women.

Three in this house alone

babies in utero and babies crying.

All wanted as I wanted one, wanting my own.

"Every child a wanted child" we chant

on highways leading somewhere and mine, empty.

No cranberries.

Raisins, maybe,

but no plump, juicy, bursting and flying about pink and tart.

One tongue can do the work of ten fingers.

So I've heard.

i see them one million strong,

yelling with all their taste buds popping,

my children,

marching, walking, hopping, running, scattering, swerving.

Asking directions of the homeless man

with the stockings on his hands,

singing Mr. Roger's neighborhood.

He'll point the way,

point and shoot clear lovely portraits of dogwoods.

Flowering trees pink and white and SLIPping

off the fringes of highways

crammed with cars,

crammed with people

crammed with—do you know, can you guess?

Think, concentrate, say it with me now,

crammed with CRANBERRIES!