As many of us already know, Ireland votes today to decide whether to keep its relatively strict abortion laws- which currently make it very difficult to have an abortion – to change them in favor of abortion on demand.
There are so many well-documented reasons why abortion is wrong, why it does not help women, or indeed men. These are scientific reasons as well as moral and emotional reasons.
Today we wanted to offer something different to accompany these reasons, in the form of three poems. Literature can speak very powerfully and can affect us in ways we don’t expect. The first poem moved me to tears. Pregnancy can bring horribly difficult circumstances with it and suffering can abound. But abortion is not the answer to these difficulties.
These three poems touch on different aspects of the abortion debate. The first two do so very obviously. The third is simply a commentary on an absent father. It is offered here as an opportunity to reflect on the role men and fathers’ play in the arrival of new life in the world.
Wherever you are, pray and fast for Ireland today. Pray for the end to abortion all around the world. These poems speak for themselves and show the reality of what abortion does. It is a lie that abortion offers anyone freedom.
It’s Good To Be Here
by Alden Nowlan
I’m in trouble, she said
to him. That was the first
time in history that anyone
had ever spoken of me.
It was 1932 when she
was just fourteen years old
and men like him
worked all day for
one stinking dollar.
There’s quinine, she said.
That’s bullsh-t, he told her.
Then she cried and then
for a long time neither of them
said anything at all and then
their voices kept rising until
they were screaming at each other
and then there was another long silence and then
they began to talk very quietly and at last he said
well, I guess we’ll just have to make the best of it.
While I lay curled up,
my heart beating,
in the darkness inside her.
by Spike Milligan*
Somewhere at some time
They committed themselves to me
And so, I was!
Small, but I WAS!
Tiny, in shape
Lusting to live
I hung in my pulsing cave.
Soon they knew of me
My mother —my father.
I had no say in my being
I lived on trust
Tho’ I couldn’t think
Each part of me was saying
A silent ‘Wait for me
I will bring you love!’
I was taken
Blind, naked, defenseless
By the hand of one
Whose good name
Was graven on a brass plate
in Wimpole Street,
and dropped on the sterile floor
of a foot operated plastic waste
There was no Queens Counsel
To take my brief.
The cot I might have warmed
Stood in Harrod’s shop window.
When my passing was told
My father smiled.
No grief filled my empty space.
My death was celebrated
With tickets to see Danny la Rue
Who was pretending to be a woman
Like my mother was.
The Prodigal Father
by Elwyn Davies
In the bed’s encompassing womb,
in flesh I make a second burrow,
in my enclosing clothes and room,
in the warm holding hands of home,
moves my mother.
O my father, where do you hide,
spend your silence, your loneliness?
A tall tree over mother and child,
no arms for such twinned holiness,
you stood aside.
Now, after long waiting, you come,
my prodigal father. I gather
you, still tall, lonely, in my home.
Not round me, in my tall, man’s bone
stands my father.