The latest issue of First Things (November 2013) contains a poem from Bryce A. Taylor entitled “How to Have an Abortion.” I found it startling, poignant, and moving.
Don’t think about the freckles he, or she,
Might have, or how much hair, how big a grin,
Or whether swimming would come naturally,
Or whether–it?–might play the violin.
Don’t think of prom, don’t think of puppy love
Or calculus, or snow, or spring in bloom,
Or anything that might remind you of
The future now contained within a womb.
Don’t feel anxiety, don’t feel regret,
Don’t fret about some otherworldly guilt.
Don’t feel the bond of parenthood, don’t let
Insane outmoded Don Quixotes tilt
At private windmills–don’t spill any ink
Examining yourself. Don’t feel. Don’t think.
As you should with all good poems, read this one through slowly, and a few more times.