We recently launched our newsletter! Click here to subscribe.

x
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.