This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 670,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sonya Renee, "What Women Deserve"

"What Women Deserve"
By Sonya Renee

Culturally-diversified bi-racial girl,
with a small diamond nose-ring
and a pretty smile
poses beside the words: “Women deserve better”.

And I almost let her non-threatening grin begin to
infiltrate my psyche-
till I read the unlikely small-print at the bottom of the ad.
‘Sponsored by the US Secretariate for Pro Life Activities
and the Knights of Columbus’
on a bus, in a city with a population of 563,000.

Four teenage mothers on the bus with me.
One latino woman with three children under three,
and no signs of a daddy.
One sixteen year old black girl,
standing in twenty two degree weather
with only a sweater,
and a bookbag,
and a bassinet, with an infant that ain’t even four weeks yet-

Tell me that yes: Women do deserve better.

Women deserve better
than public transportation rhetoric
from the same people who won’t give that teenage mother
a ride to the next transit.
Won’t let you talk to their kids about safer sex,
and never had to listen as the door slams
behind the man
who adamantly says “that SHIT ain’t his”-
leaving her to wonder how she’ll raise this kid.

Women deserve better than the three hundred dollars
TANF and AFDC will provide that family of three.
Or the six dollar an hour job at KFC
with no benefits for her new baby-
or the college degree she’ll never see,
because you can’t have infants at the university.

Women deserve better
than lip-service paid for by politicians
who have no alternatives to abortion.
Though I’m sure right now
one of their seventeen year old daughters
is sitting in a clinic lobby, sobbing quietly
and anonymously,
praying parents don’t find out-
Or is waiting for mom to pick her up because
research shows that out-of-wedlock childbirth
don’t look good on political polls.
And Sarah ain’t having that.

Women deserve better
than backward governmental policies
that don’t want to pay for welfare for kids,
or healthcare for kids,
or childcare for kids.
Don’t want to pay living wages to working mothers.
Don’t want to make men who only want to be
last night’s lovers
responsible for the semen they lay.
Just like they don’t want to pay for shit,
but want to control the woman who’s having it.

Acting outraged at abortion,
when I’m outraged that they want us to believe
that they believe
“Women deserve better”.

The Vatican won’t prosecute pedophile priests,
but I decide I’m not ready for motherhood
and it’s condemnation for me.
These are the same people
who won’t support national condom distribution
to prevent teenage pregnancy—

But women deserve better.

Women deserve better than back-alley surgeries
that leave our wombs barren and empty.
Deserve better than organizations bearing the name
of land-stealing, racist, rapists
funding million dollar campaigns on subway trains
with no money to give these women—
While balding, middle-aged white men
tell us what to do with our bodies,
while they wage wars and kill other people’s babies.

So maybe,
Women deserve better than propaganda and lies
to get into office.
Propaganda and lies
to get into panties,
to get out of court,
to get out of paying child-support.

Get the fuck out of our decisions
and give us back our VOICE.

Women do deserve better.

Women deserve choice.

Video from the Salt Lines Tour 2009, shot at Evergreen College in Olympia, Wash.

1 comment:

Patent Attorney said...

Women definitely deserve the same choices in life that men have. Happy International Women's Day.