Lawmakers etch their restrictions on sovereign bodies,
obliterate women out of existence, into servitude.
Lawmakers scribble laws, sentence women to a word
web of confinement. Lawmakers in marble halls
of statehouses, pillared halls of Washington, raise
their voices in pious tones, invoke a fantasy god
of their own devising as justification for their laws.
Lawmakers spout platitudes of concern for women,
their safety, their health, then doodle laws to bring
harm upon women. Lawmakers pray to their gods
to end abortion, lawmakers who would punish
providers, lawmakers who send their daughters
to accommodating doctors, doctors who would
never utter the word “abortion,” who instead
say, “D &C.” A woman will say “abortion,”
will say the law of her own conscience will
guide her, a law not written anywhere
but in her sovereign being. A law
on a blank piece of paper, a law
written by each woman who will
decide how she must fulfill her destiny.
Diane Wahto received an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University in 1985 and has been writing poetry ever since. Her latest publication, “Empty Corners,” is in the spring 2017 issue of Same. She was co-editor of 365 Days, an anthology of the 365 Facebook page poets. She lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband Patrick Roche and their dog Annie.
Guest Editor Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize). Her poetry has appeared in such journals as TheNewVerse.News, Cavalier Literary Couture, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Red Rock Review, and Valparaiso Review. Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has also lived and worked in Arizona and in Missouri. She is married to the writer Roland Sodowsky and is one of the founders and the Co-President of the Board of SEK Women Helping Women.