Facebook shows me a picture of the man who believed soap bubbles in the bath would prevent pregnancy, the one I believed knew more than I did about the determination of sperm and egg. I could have dashed across the street for the forgotten diaphragm. I could have said, Wait—I’m not ready. But I didn’t.
I figured one time in the soap bubbles surely wouldn’t matter. It was mid-1973, in California, where abortion had been legal long before the Supreme Court spoke on the subject. Ronald Reagan himself had signed the legislation.
In the back of my mind the thought—If all else fails (which I was sure it wouldn’t), I can always get it taken care of. In the Bay Area, this would be a snap.
Why is this man shown to me today of all days, Someone You May Know cheerily over his picture? A nice man. A kind man, just not a keeper, not a Forever man. He even offered to help pay for the abortion. An offer I did not accept. My doctor was gentle, and the procedure was easy; first, the seaweed in the cervix to open things up, then red goop flowing through a tube and it’s done.
I never slept with this man again, and he never came calling. Years later he asked me if I hated him. No, I said, and if it helps, I don’t hate myself either.
Today, on Facebook, I study his picture for a few moments, before deciding not to send a friend request.
winter day made light
December’s longest hours
edging into spring
is the author, most recently, of a chapbook entitled Henceforth I Ask Not Good Fortune (Finishing Line Press, 2021). Other chapbooks include Five Angels (Five Trees Press, 1976), Let Us Not Blame Foolish Women (Tombouctou Books, 1983), and The Land (Smithereens Press, 1988). Her writing has appeared in numerous print and online journals and anthologies, such as Beautiful Cadaver Social Anthology (a Camp fire anthology), Gyroscope, Painted Bride, Rise Up Review, Solo Novo, The Marin Poetry Center Anthology, and Writers Resist, among others. In the 1980s, she edited the eclectic literary magazine Turkey Buzzard Review. She now lives in Northern California, where she practices environmental law and helps elect progressive candidates to office.
Author’s blog: Dotty LeMieux Poems and More