INTRO
WHEN I WAS FIFTEEN
ALONG 693
GROWING UP, TWO AMERICAS
ANNIVERSARY 1984
TO BETTY, 1982
BEYOND NORTH MOUNTAIN
THE BRANDY LINE (ABOUT A FAVORITE GOAT)
CHICAGO AND NORTHWESTERN
DREAM OF CHARLES DE LANGLADE
YOU CALL ME FOLLY MILLS
THE ODYSSEY OF GLOOMY GUS
HILLS
IMPATIENS CAPENSIS
THE ADVANTAGE OF INTELLIGENCE
I DIDN'T KNOW YOU THEN
AFTER YOU LANGLADE
WAITING ON LARAMIE CREEK
THE LESSON
LITTLE RIVER
MEMORY
MUSIC AT THE JACKSON
THE HUMAN CONDITION IS NOT
OLD DOMINION
OLD MAN TO HIMSELF
OLD RIDER
CALLING OWLS
FROM THE TALE OF PETER MINK
MAKE REVOLUTION
THE SCRAPER
MY SHIP
SNAPSHOT
TO OUR SONS, 1982
SPRING PEEPERS
TED
TREES OF NEW JERSEY
A TRUE DOCTOR
DEATH OF WILBUR
BY WINNEBAGO'S SHORE
©Poems of R.F.Mueller- Other Times, Other Thoughts

THE ABORTION PALACE
(A TRUE EXPERIENCE IN THE 1930s!)
R.F. Mueller


Bound to verify the unspeakable
we marched through woods and swamp
toward the deserted house we'd heard about
in low-voiced adult talk.

Not that we loved babies. In those
fat belly days those already devalued heavenly gifts
were gluts not as exciting as kittens or frogs.
But this bright autumn Saturday we wanted
to find out if the rumors were true.

And I still remember that old house,
gray shingled through the trees with
dank rooms of stained wallpaper and battered baseboards.
The closets and attic contained nothing
but fillers for our imaginations.
But outside in the overgrown yard a deep dug well
beneath mossy boards
smelled to us like a thousand rotting fetuses.

 

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As I remember, in those days abortion was accepted as a fact of life even by those, like my family, who passed for religious Catholics. There was no sermonizing or ranting about the sanctity of life, perhaps because, lacking deep welfare funding, excess mouths to feed were tied so closely to economic survival.