Poetry

“Repeal the 8th”

You’re painting the town blue

Covering up facts like ugly blemishes

Blocking out red mouths and beating hearts

Leaving A B C D X and Y in the alphabet

Forgetting the names behind the letters

The stories behind the numbers

Forgetting that a boundary exists between personal prejudice

And the facts of human rights and human life.

*

You’re painting the city blue

With the tears of once excited mothers-to-be with fatal pregnancies

With the tears of scared young girls

Who dared to make a choice that would affect their life alone

With the tears of the thousands of women queuing in Dublin airport

Paying for a flight to Britain that they can’t afford.

Your paint is made of the tears of the abused

In a country obsessed with female sexuality.

*

Please don’t paint our country blue

Please do not force your biased beliefs onto me

Or my sister, my friends

Or any young woman in this country and the future daughters we may have.

Please do not say you are protecting a person’s human rights

While tarnishing all that human rights stands for

Please do not ignore our rights as the living.

Our right to life.

Our right to adequate healthcare.

Our right to privacy.

Our right to be free from inhumane treatment.

Please allow us to offer more to this world than our reproductive systems.

*

Stop painting our walls blue.

Stop silencing our screams with somethings as mild as the colour blue

Stop censoring what the people of Ireland are asking for,

What the women are dying for.

You failed the pregnant women of this country before

When you criminalised our sexuality, locked us up

And you sold or buried our children in septic tanks.

Stop pretending you don’t see us when you’re purposely standing with your backs to us

Stop forcing women to bring children into this world

When you ignore the needs of the children who are already here.

*

So put down your paintbrushes and let that heart breathe.

Let us breathe.

*

Let us choose.

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