Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Before (and After) Roe v Wade Tanka

a blue-haired teen
with one hand on her belly
in the shadow
of the clinic's entrance
before (and after)  Roe v Wade

FYI:  Women reflect on what life was like before Roe v. Wade, PBS NewsHour, June 21

In light of the leaked Supreme Court opinion that would reverse the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, the country faces the prospect of a future where abortion will no longer be legal nationwide. Amna Nawaz spoke to women who remember what life was like for them before Roe.

And today's tanka is a sequel to/relfection on the following tanka sequence, first published on NeverEnding Story, May 4 and written in response to the shocking leak of a draft of a Supreme Court majority opinion 

Roe v. Wade – Then and Now

the clinic
under a slate-gray sky
protesters shouting
at counter protesters
with their arms linked

outside the closed clinic ...
a teenager
stretches her hand to catch
falling rose petals

the space telescope
launched to explore the birth
of this universe ...
safe haven baby boxes
wrapped in Mississippi sunset

bans off our bodies
as firm as marble steps ...
against the Supreme Court
a phalanx of women

once shouting 
my body, my choice, my life
in the pandemic ...
the MAGA crowd chant, Hey, hey. Ho, ho. 
Roe v. Wade has got to go 
(FYI: MAGA stands for Make America Great Again)

anger boils
over the Roe v. Wade leak
on TV
Afghan women covered 
head to toe in black
(FYI: The Washington Post, May 7,: Taliban orders head-to-toe coverings for Afghan women in public)

AddedThis Brave New World, XLIV
written in response to election worker Ruby Freeman's tearful testimony in Tuesday’s Jan. 6 hearing: There is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere. Do you know how it feels to have the "president" of the United States target you?” 

I only need
eleven thousand votes ...
a patient
in the empty hallway
barking at his own echo

FYI: "I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break:" Listen to the recording of President Donald Trump pressuring  Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger & other officials to "find" enough votes in GA’s presidential election to make him the winner. 

And this tanka could be read as a sequel to the following:

Trump's audio
to find votes in Georgia
gets loud and louder ...
I sort through crumpled balls
of poetry in the bin