I post quite a bit of poetry on this blog, but I thought it time for something else. This is something else.
A Miscarriage of Justice by Sheila R. Pierson
Fluttering feelings tickled her belly, like flashes of a story that appeared momentarily, and then just as she reached for the words, they floated away as if on helium clouds. She passed the time between her writing efforts with wasted minutes on social networks, telling herself that she needed the distraction. The gnawing ate at her, little pieces at a time. Scratching, from inside, it clawed and grasped at her fascia and tendons and muscle, trying to reach the skin, to find a way out. Sometimes she found it comforting, the way the story pushed and pressed from within. At least she knew something was there. Seemed to be the only part of her that she could count on anymore.
She used to be different. She was eager to please those around her, to her own detriment. People made demands and she conceded without question. Without warning, life turned on end. Isn’t that the way it always happens? Except for the occasional horoscope spam, it isn’t as if an e-mail arrives in one’s inbox saying, ‘Change is coming – prepare yourself.’ No, it just happens. Life alters. One day she was preparing a roast in the crock pot for her family, wondering if they’d be pleased with her cooking and the next she was in bed with a lover she never intended to have, wondering how and why, but not really caring.
Somewhere between the thrill of the newfound passion and the reality of her new truth, the aftermath of her choices descended upon her. The heaviness of her life threatened to suffocate her.
A new choice had to be made, one that didn’t include misleading her mind with her heart’s deceit. She couldn’t have imagined the pushback, the revolt her heart would stage. The rage of the world funneled its way into the shadows of her soul. Winter blanketed her body and settled into her bones. She could no longer tolerate the feel of her own skin, the way it pricked with heat, the way her soul smoldered under every layer of anguished flesh.
She awoke one Saturday morning to intense cramping pain. The need to sit up, get up, and hurry from the bed into the bathroom was hindered only by the torment in her abdomen. She didn’t move. She lay still, until the next wave grabbed at her from deep inside. What was happening to her? A bulging pressure forced her to hold her hands between her legs as she rose from the bed. Upon standing, gravity assisted the release of whatever was ushering forth. The bathroom was only a few steps away but those steps may has well have been a mile. Loosening her sleep shorts, she pulled them down to reveal a small gray sac attached to a rather large blood clot. Grabbing some toilet tissue, she caught the bloody gray mass. More blood followed. She cried, hot tears that singed her face. She knew what this was, but couldn’t make herself believe it at first. She didn’t even know she was pregnant. She shouldn’t have been. Lying down on the floor, she allowed the cool tiles to soothe her face.
She knew as she stared at the tissue paper with the little gray sac on it that this was the only way things could be. The man whose love proffered this well-deserved loss was too much the coward to even begin to do the right thing, whatever that was. She wasn’t sure why she continued to cry on that hard floor. She was glad not be tied to such a life-changing event, glad that she would not be tied to him. Her freedom had faced a serious threat, but crossed a threshold to safety. She should be happy, not sad and pathetic and wallowing in her tears and her blood.
Time did what it does. It passed. There was no hurrying it along. She couldn’t escape the onslaught of emotions. They struck when they chose. A longing to put pen to paper woke her in the night. Gasping breaths pulled her from slumber, the desperation for air tormented her lungs. She was again suffocating, from the desire for a man she would never have, from the anger over his lies, her lies, and their loss. She was suffocating from the loss of her rose-colored glasses and life before…before him.
With dutiful ambition, she willed herself to be that woman from before, but that woman no longer existed. She made appearances from time to time, when necessity called for her, but she was more of a second personality pushed into the far recesses of her mind. The woman who was always willing to please others could not find an ounce of favor with herself. She was changed.
The story brews within her. She feels it, knowing it’s just under the surface, like the bubbles forming in a pot of water just before it boils. When she finds the words, when they come down from their helium clouds, she will write her story. She will take hold of those words and emblazon them onto the page. They will be as a brand upon her skin, as a red letter worn upon one’s cloak. They will be as that ill-mourned baby in the gray sac falling out of her body, hurried, silent, yet screaming. When they come, she will desecrate the paper with her purging, and then she will be free.
**photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/belljar/96776343/”>madamepsychosis</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>**