Get NiftyLit news & updates delivered directly to your inbox. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Skip to main content
Original artwork by Emma Yamamoto

Upon the Disclosure of an Old Secret

Elsa Valmidiano
Our Bodies, Our Rights: Special Issue • Poetry

The news spread like wildfire tonight

that I had an abortion at twenty

and now, am I on trial?


Strangers comment with their virtual pitchforks:

“You murderer.

You mutilated your body beyond repair!”


I cannot fight all battles,

especially not of blood lines

connecting me to generations

of shame.


No comment.


Picketers outside clinics

never respect the reason


—they who decided the size

of a pomegranate seed

is the supreme being


—they who think we dispose of

our babies at the drop of a hat

when we learn unexpected complications.


Brokenness is their usual expectation

when the façade of a perfect woman existed

in a ten-year secret.


Now with the news all over the internet

you want to put me away

and call me a cursed woman. 


Can you now see why

I never told you?


I am still me

but you refuse to listen.


You hate the power I have

in disclosing this little secret

that finally released me

when it was revealed.