Friday, January 3, 2014

Headline Poem 1/3/14 -- Unwed & Shamed

(Photo credit npr)

Today's poem is based on a story I read/listened to on NPR this morning about two pregnant teenagers, who, in 1968, were sent to a home for unwed mothers. They gave birth, left their babies for adoption, and were forced to never talk about it again. 

Unwed & Shamed 

Just eight years before my own birth
These things happen
To girls
To girls
To girls
Their mothers sent them away 
Go to Massachusettes to live in a home 
Change your name
Do not discuss this
Sad at night, she cried herself to sleep, feeling the baby move inside
Arms strapped to a bed
They were told nothing about giving birth
How many said 'yes' when the doctor asked if the young mothers wanted to see their new babies?
How many said 'no'?
Did the fathers know?
The babies were adopted
The mothers, er, girls went home
Never speak of this again
Questions avoided
Stress accumulated
Loads of heavy shame bundled up and carried
Everything changed
Nothing changed
Do you hear me? 
Nothing changed
You no longer have to lie