Poem Hunter
Poems
The Right To Choose
AC (6th August,1945 / Melbourne, Australia)

The Right To Choose

Poem By Alison Cassidy

Late '63 one summer night
when the termites were swarming,
a young girl with curly hair
gave herself somewhat impulsively
to an angry young man
- older, very attractive
in the back seat of the old Rover
- awkward with the gear-stick in the way.

It was a combination of summer sun
and eyelashes ridiculously long for a man,
plus one too many local reds,
that released her inhibitions,
and although the union was not
altogether satisfactory,
she nonetheless floated home
- feeling slightly smug
with a light in her blue-green eyes.

A few months later,
with tender breasts and heavy heart,
she phoned the angry young man,
who understandably became even angrier
when he heard her news
and hastily consulted a mate
who lent him a hundred pounds
and gave him an address in Sandringham.

The two arranged to meet one night in Kew,
he puffing seductively on his pipe,
she barely able to control the nausea
that poured over her in waves.
A couple of hours later
they were traveling in a car
hiding behind the front seat
on the floor, like criminals
- for safety you understand.

And later in a very ordinary
brick veneer by the sea
- she recalled the salt tang in the air -
she was instructed to lie
upon a very ordinary kitchen table
and spread her legs.
The procedure was performed without anaesthesia
and preceded by the words
'This isn't going to be pleasant'.
It wasn't.

Afterwards, lying in a strange bed
in a strange house in Warrandyte
- the angry young man couldn't stay -
she felt amazing relief that the blood
was finally flowing between her legs.

She rather hoped though,
it would stop soon.

User Rating: 4,3 / 5 ( 12 votes ) 13

Comments (13)

Hemorhage(sic) ? If this is a true story, and the works I've read so far are, then did this young woman die, or live to regret her decision? A contemporary story/poem to be sure. The depth of this work is enough to drown oneself in. Heartbreaking and relentless to the end. Despiccable clod that he was, made it all worse by leaving her. WOW! Catch your breath after this one. Great! ! xxElysabeth
I feel as I've lost something myself after reading that one. You are quite the writer and use your words perfectly. Marvelous. ~Linley~
Dearest Allie...well what can i say...i am a woman who too has had the right to choose and i have made hard choices..the difference being that i was a woman making those kind of decisions in the 90s....and was cared for in a hospital with the proper faciliites..and it was still one of the most horrific choices i have had to make...my blessings go to you dear suffrogete sister...it was the women of your generation that suffered and made changes for women now...that a woman has the right to choose and be treated with respect and dignity for that choise or in the very least have proper medical attention...noone is to blame...i loved this poem because it was an ode to your unborne child as well...a tearjerker...and very inspiring...Love Sandyxxx
This is brilliant but very painful to read. I imagine that the bleeding that was hardest to stop is from the tear in the heart.
Smarter pens than mine have said it all beneath this comment, but yours had to courageously relate the real agony of a monstrous situation. Even in the forward thinking Us they had to wait another 10 years for the RTC. And this was in the progressive 60s in the land of promise and plenty! ! It's absurd. The very idea that those responsible for creating and upholding the law could inflict this kind of physical and emotional suffering and believe they were doing the right thing, makes my head spin! But it was a man's world then, a little more than it is now, and that is part of the sorry explanation. The feelings expressed at the end are perfectly understandable - to the extent that a man can hope to understand this horrendous injustice. Incredibly brave and astonishingly honest writing. This is the hidden side of modern social history. An incredibly sad side. Statistics on a page are all very well, but this kind of writing is what brings about understanding and changes in attitudes. Thanks for putting yourself through this Allie.. jim
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