A flash sparked across the sky,
people cheered under lights of blue and red and white,
but I couldn’t hear the crowd
over my own screaming.
I paid the ‘doctor’
before he ushered me out the back alley,
still bleeding.
I fell into bed that night
cold and barren,
my womb destined for emptiness.

The young woman in front of me
sheds tears and dignity
as she talks about the violation.
I hold her hand,
her feet rest in stirrups.
My tools are clean,
her choice is valid.
Freedom is more than patriotic fireworks.



This was written for the speakeasy #100 – a piece of fiction or poetry using the first line, “A flash sparked across the sky” and referencing, in some way, the picture below.


25 responses to this post.

  1. Wow….not sure what else to say…just wow!


  2. Posted by iasoupmama on March 12, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Such a fantastic contrast in a small space. Love where the prompts took you!


  3. Graphic contrasts – powerful piece.


  4. Ack, painful to read but well done!


  5. Posted by bnatividad on March 13, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Such a powerful poem, Dayle. Great take on the prompts!


  6. Very hard to read, but that was part of the point, I am sure. Your last line could launch an entire debate. Very interesting…


  7. Wow, this is fantastic! Love the contrasts and the strength of your message. Wonderfully done!


  8. Very powerful message! Really good.


  9. Posted by nataliedeyoung on March 13, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Whew, what a loaded poem! I love the contrast, and how you illustrate the message. Well done!


  10. Posted by modmomelleroy on March 14, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Wow. You did a wonderful job with the prompts and with this powerful message.


  11. Wow. I especially like this line: “sheds tears and dignity.” Powerful.


  12. […] piece was originally posted on I shall be a toad for the speakeasy #100 – a piece of fiction or poetry using the first line, “A flash sparked […]


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