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
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'.
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.