Darkness Darkness

The Fashion Institute of Technology had only one dorm, reserved for out-of-town students, so I felt lucky to have been granted a room, even if I knew it was only for the first year of my two-year program.  My roommate had sisters in the city, but had grown up upstate, in a Catholic group home, really an orphanage with all its attendant horrors.  Nothing has changed about that since the time of Dickens.

Her mother died when she was very young.  A family friend wanted to adopt her, but the Catholic Church refused to separated her from her two older sisters—the friend could not manage three more children.  Her sisters married as soon as they aged out of the system, and now lived again in the city where they had been born.  My roommate was a talented artist, and her high school art teacher encouraged her to prepare a portfolio and apply to FIT.  She wanted to be a textile designer.

Her father had abandoned the family when her mother became pregnant with a fourth child.  Unable to imagine being able to support three children, let alone four, on her own, the mother sought an abortion.  It killed her.

Her daughters had no choice but to accept the fact that both parents were permanently lost to them.  But there was a simmering anger in my roommate, a wound of loss and grief, that remained. 

I lost touch with her—we both moved around a lot after getting our associate degrees, and the internet was not even a blip on our consciousness in 1973—but I thought of her again when the decision overturning Roe v Wade was leaked to the press.

Now, as then in the 1950s, our government blames the poor for their poverty, penalizing most of all the living mothers and their living children, abandoned by fathers, or forced to flee abusive husbands and partners, condemning them to hunger and homelessness as a punishment for not being born lucky, for not having friends and family who have enough wealth and stability to pick up the pieces when they need a helping hand.

another grey sky–
spring comes late this year—crow calls
inside the graveyard

For dVerse, where Lisa asks us to consider the topic of grief.

42 thoughts on “Darkness Darkness

  1. I didn’t want to think about this prompt, but your poem is so sad and horrible and moving. I’m feeling very hopeless about what is going on in our country. I think there is so much dark money behind dark forces, it’s like we’re being sucked into a black hole.

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    1. This was was a heavy read. It was interesting the way the shadow of the crow hovers over the graveyard in the haiku

      A really well crafted post of poem art and music

      Thanks for dropping by to read mine.

      Much💛love

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So sad. When will people realise that poverty is the great divider, more than any other form of discrimination you can name. Poverty kills, but it’s a hard discrimination to legislate against, expensive, requires a profound shake-up, abandoning comforting notions. I can’t see it being a real vote-winner.

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    1. Definitely not a vote winner. A direct result of the greed of our world’s economies–in fact probably a necessity for the wealthy to keep accumulating more wealth.

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        1. They are planning on banning teaching anything at all I think. Every sentence uttered will be required to contain the words white, male Christian, and God.

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  3. I can only pray that those who advocate so vehemently for the unborn are willing to take on the care of the born… I just participated in a baby shower for many who found themselves abandoned when they needed familial support most. It is tragic that we are regressing in basic human rights….

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    1. It keeps amazing me that the already born can’t seem to get even a small percentage of the advocacy that the unborn receive. In fact just the opposite in many cases. I’m glad you were able to offer some support for those who needed it.

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  4. Kerfe, this really moved me. We have so many living on the margins here, who don’t even realise the injustice meted out to them. Poverty is such a curse.
    Such an apt song.

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  5. Kerfe, I can remember people were still going to back alley abortionists where they used coat hangers when I was a kid. No woman should have to scurry down back alleys to get medical care. Your very personal story of your friend brings the reality of the barbarity of overturning Roe v Wade. I did read the other day that a birth control for men is in the works. When the burden of birth control falls on men’s shoulders, maybe we will see some relief, but we will have to wait and see. In the meantime…

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    1. I wish I could share your optimism about men and birth control.
      This is really all about the larger kind of control–keeping women from exercising autonomy. Keeping the poor in poverty. “In their place”.

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  6. How do we understand the moment without the deep experience of the tribe? This is such a potent way to understand the implications of reversing Roe vs Wade and speaks to the viciously hardened heart of the right which refuses to feel anything for anyone any more.

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    1. Thanks Brendan. There is so little even attempt at understanding among those running the country. There’s only one subject they are interested in–themselves (and you can bet their wives/girlfriends/daughters will be pressured into abortions if the child is inconvenient for them–they can afford access to whatever they themselves find necessary)

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    1. Thanks M. Even though my strangely gerrymandered district has been declared illegal, if they change it, it won’t make a bit of difference in who is elected, except, perhaps, for their ethnic heritage. Whoever gets the Democratic nomination will win. As to the rest of the country…they have already proven to me they have no clue how this or any other Republican “policy” will actually play out personally in their lives. So I’m not hopeful at all.

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  7. I get very afraid of how little fight is left in me and then words and images like yours come in to stoke the fire again. The thing I keep thinking is that all of us have stories like this somewhere in our experience; the more of those stories we put before closed minds, one has got to get through. So hard and painful to keep that up. It’s an art to conserve the strength to keep trying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Sun. I feel like young women, especially, need to hear these stories. They have always taken the right to decide for themselves for granted. Too many don’t even vote, claiming all politicians are the same. Here’s an example of how that mentality will shape their lives, probably all of their adulthood. Because they thought Trump and Hillary were exactly the same.

      Liked by 1 person

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