“On My Back”: A Tribute to the 2021 Women’s March

Editor’s note: This poem, written by Sheri Lynn, is based on and dedicated to the Women’s March for Reproductive Rights that took place on October 2, 2021.

2021-womens-march-texas-abortion-pro-choice-feminist-poetry
The Women’s March in D.C. on Oct. 2. (Courtesy of the Women’s March / Kisha Bari)

on my back

upon sun kissed concrete

greeted by a baby blue sky

where white wisps

tease my senses to

feel at peace

on this Saturday afternoon

is this the same sky

where women

and trans-men

for whom I lie here

in silence went

as they

died when

their reproductive

health care access

was denied

do their once

tear-stained eyes

now dried

rest in peace

how is it anyone

believes such a

heart wrenching

decision

is as easy as the choice is

in the moment

for a man

to wear a condom

or not

this sky will yield

to a deep red fire

when more suffer, die

in Texas, Florida, Oklahoma,

and wherever else is yet to fall

we know women of means

will do what they do

in night’s quiet

in more ‘forgiving’ states

and yet such states of being

a paradox

all of us on our backs

still, hushed, yet deafening

aside Teddy Roosevelt’s statue

who once said

“This country will not be a good place

for any of us to live in

if it is not a reasonably good place for all of us to live in.”

do we ask forgiveness

for the decades, centuries

of pain, shame, disdain

when freedom’s breath

was taken with the swipe

of a pen

by men

who never live

with such a choice

made for them

collaring their body

will, should

vasectomies become

a law for prevention or cause

ha, you laugh

‘of course, not

how preposterous

to think

such a decision be mandated

by a government

body’

ah and here lies the shadow truth

my body, myself

     your body, yourself

          our bodies, ourselves

and here I lay

for you

on my back

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About

Once an executive business woman and innovator, poetry and photography award recipient Sheri Lynn enjoys developing activism and creative insights expressed through poetry, stories, and photography—proof each of us may transform! Sheri launched her first poetry and photography chapbook “Nature’s Breath”, accompanying notecards and website BreatheInsights.com in 2019. Sheri’s other works have been published by Chicken Soup for the Soul-Listen to Your Dreams, The Odyssey magazine, NCPLS, PPA, DBP, Bard’s, TNSPS, 911 Memorial Museum and more.