©Poems of R.F.Mueller- Other Times, Other Thoughts
THE ABORTION PALACE
(A TRUE EXPERIENCE IN THE 1930s!)
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.
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.