Poem 1: Dignity
with such precision.
it cuts with a knife,
of course, crawling
over like spiders on your skin,
a confusing fuss,
with such union.
it changes, it swirls,
it adds instead of subtracts,
whispering like the wind through your heart,
beating a little bit,
no change between 'them' and 'us',
the different and the norm,
between what is normal and what is not,
the way somehow somewhere we went
so. damn. wrong.
carry us back,
dignity is choice,
dignity is being able to choose,
to be proud, to start with life.
and damn it I would rather have a woman
choose to kill an unborn innocent
then be forced into a hell she doesn't want
(though damn it how can you make the decision
between two choices: life of the innocent,
sanity of the elder, how can you
possibly take a side when they both
dignity is respect,
do not take away my dignity.
don't take away anyone's dignity.
stop before you go too far.
you've gone too far.
leave them, us, you,
leave the dignity.
Poem 2: Life
with petals, curling,
plucked by clumsy child hands,
collected into bowls of water,
before it can become heavy
crapabbles, never eaten.
beauty does die.
wheelchair, wrinkled hands.
she struggles to read or write,
but there is pride and experience,
and she is ninety, a hundred,
remembering her children's names,
though sometimes she confuses the faces.
beauty doesn't die.
that can light up your life,
coming from a person who is,
who is not your definition,
but who is their own definition,
who is smiling, smiling,
and laughing, and funny, and loved -
and loving; you may never see it,
but I do, they do, we do.
love intertwines with life.
the mask taken from a face,
the wrinkles smoothed.
testing a smile he had forgotten,
but there it is again.
honest emotion he thought he'd forgotten,
but there it is again, he does not
have to hold back.
I dream, I dream, this could be
a possibility, the lack of judgement.
life intertwines with love.
The Non-Poem Portion
Dignity. What is dignity?
The answer hit me like a bullet, a sudden sun from clouds. The snow glittering in the dawn, free of footprints. No more fog.
Dignity is choice.
To choose is to have dignity. And if you take that choice away with poverty, with not allowing someone to get food, with preventing people from having work...
you have taken away dignity.
And how dare you take away dignity. How dare you take away dignity from a child who cannot speak or an old woman who says "let the cold come" or the young woman who says "I'm scared and I'll die so let it happen sooner" or the middle aged man who says "damnit, I'm fighting this thing".
How dare you laugh and mock and judge when all people, every person, deserves dignity.
That's why I do not settle for pro-choice or pro-life because it's a choice on either side of the spectrum. I cannot choose the baby over the mother or the mother over the baby because I refuse to take away anyone's dignity. Let the option to steal away dignity lay on the mother's shoulders! Let her feel guilty, but also let her live a wholesome life where her so-called friends are really her friends and do not judge her. Dignity.
I will not take away anyone's dignity, and as long as I have a voice I will scream for everyone's dignity. The right to choose.
Because every day there are girls stolen from home who loose every ounce of their dignity but then they regain it because there are people out there who care.
People lose dignity, and do not have dignity, but as long as there are people like me, or people like you - if you care, if you speak, if you try - dignity can be received and regained.
So I will take away nobody's dignity. And in doing so, I retain my own.
I've made my choice.
Above all, I want to respect God's most precious gift, but I will never willingly or consciously choose to steal someone else's dignity.
And if you think it is alright to abort a child - born or unborn - because they are blind and cannot speak, because they are autistic, because you do not have the money, because you were foolish, because you are not ready, I will hang my head and cry. I will not judge - not beyond the 'how could they make such a sad sad choice? what goodness have we lost in this world?' - but I will mourn for the light we could have had. And then let you keep your dignity.
Because what is God's most precious gift if it doesn't have its dignity?