Two Glass Doors
What were you thinking when you walked through those two glass doors?
Were your feet like lead?
Was your heart in your throat?
Were you afraid
because your parents would kill you if they knew?
Because you couldn’t figure out
how to pay for one more mouth to feed?
Because you were exhausted from trying?
Because you didn’t want a kid out there somewhere in the world
being raised by strangers?
Were you numb
because you had been down this road before?
Because you had already given yourself away so many times
that nothing was left to feel?
Because your own life had never been treasured,
and even now you feel like nothing more
than a clump of cells?
Were you grieving
because the baby wasn’t developing?
Because the test results promised a terrible life?
Because the man who got you into this trouble left you
with a broken heart and no easy options?
Because of complications nobody will ever understand.
Were you ashamed
because the baby’s father was married to someone else?
Because sleeping him was a mistake to begin with
and you knew better all along?
Because you didn’t think you were the sort of girl
who would ever end up here?
Were you angry
because you had to bear the consequences alone?
Because you got a uterus
and he got the freedom to walk away?
What did you feel walking out of those two glass doors,
dizzy from cramps and bleeding still,
looking for a life and desperately needing everything
to just be normal again?
And now you have to watch all of this rewind in full color.
A little hand spread out on pie plate
A little spine
A little leg.
My God, how I wish I could carry you through this.
I want to shield your eyes from the stories we have to tell.
I want to put my own body between you and your past.
Because there is grace for you.
There is grace for you.
There is grace for you.
I'm sorry I wasn't there to be a friend when you needed me.
What do you think I think of you?
Do you know that when I see your choices I remember my own?
Do you know that I have used words and actions
to rip those who have threatened me to shreds?
I have dismembered the dignity of other human beings.
I have treated the flesh of my flesh clinically
instead of compassionately.
I have been afraid and impulsive,
making wrong decisions on dark, lonely nights.
I have been disoriented by loneliness.
I have been numb and cold.
I have been so terrified that I have snuffed out love's potential.
I am ashamed of myself, too.
You see me fight this battle with both fists,
and I will continue to fight those dragons that have ravaged you --
that have ravaged me,
but I would come off the battlefield when quiet falls
and pick you up and rock you
and listen to your story.
I would weep with you and not condemn you,
for we are the same,
two fools fooled by empty promises,
- - -
Art: "No Doors or Windows" by Antoni Tapies (1993)