Oh, the irony! Yesterday, June 24, 2022, Roe v. Wade was officially overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sometimes it seems the stars align to urge me to speak up on political issues. But longtime fans already know that Polly Ticks me off. Exactly sixteen years before the Court’s decision yesterday, my heart was almost jumping out my chest as I recited my poem “Life and Death” for the first time. It was June 24, 2006.

I felt like I sucked the air out of the room but was relieved when most of the crowd clapped at the end. A few people even gave me a standing ovation. I was the poet laureate of a series entitled On this Earth that was produced and hosted by musician, educator, and activist Lorna Bracewell. It was a benefit concert for Habitat for Humanity held at Pro Star Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida. The flyer read “Art to inform, enlighten and empower.”

Yolanda McDade, my graphic artist at the time, urged me to create an album cover, and I turned my set into a limited edition studio album. I will post the live recording on my Patreon page. I remember apologizing after reciting it because the audience appeared stunned a bit. Unfortunately this poem is still relevant because the hypocrisy is heavier than ever.

I originally wrote it as an open letter to the “religious right”, who are often wrong when it comes to as it pertains to reproductive rights. To all those who are truly working on being more Christ-like, thank you.

Life and Death

Who plucks at the unprotected wound because it’s wide open?

To all forms of brutality, Mahatma Gandhi could clearly see,

when he said, “An eye for an eye will eventually blind me.”

And if you were wondering what Jesus would do,

He’d stand in perfect peace, and ask that you focus on the vice

that secretly consumes you.

“He who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Oh ye, the religious right, the self-proclaimed righteous…Hmmm…

If I were you I’d leave the black words that contradict the red ones alone.

From 1976 to 2002 over 100 men were released from a screeching death row!

Thanks to DNA testing and competent counsel, capital murders are on the low.

If you had a mistake free system with no eulogies and a life back guarantee.

If you had a fair and just system that doesn’t have a history of Willie Lynching me.

I don’t trust these courts to weigh the value of a woman’s life or her womb.

I don’t trust these courts to send the right man to his tomb.

He said, “Shoot him like a mangy dog or a three-legged hog?”

In an effort to put your burning anger to rest?

Seeking vengeance against evil, but a woman’s right to choose you contest.

In 1985 Pope John Paul II said, “Keep the inmates alive.

Do you study your own teachings or are they moral lies?

Don’t want to work on adoption or prevention?

Less poverty equals less terminations and prison retention.

But over 50% promote “pro-death” even when it doesn’t deter crime!

Does your penalty decrease the booking line? No.

But you just want to clean up black and white trash that’s left in the streets? No.

Have you ever helped a woman in risk of welfare defeat? No.

So pro-life with no concern for population control.

Do you just pretend to value life because your skeleton seeks a soul?

Fighting any attempt to teach planned parenthood in the school.

Fighting the distribution of condoms and making ignorance for the fatherless cool.

Meanwhile, the fetus you protect is born into a living hell.

And in 9 to 12 years, with an aching heart and cracked feet, he’ll ask for bail.

Because his mama always wanted to be a dope fiend.

Thank you for helping her and her baby fulfill this pro-life dream.

Thank you for your cramping contributions to ending birth defects, hunger, and strife.

Thank you all ye truly Christ-like, for valuing every homeless child’s sentence to life.

~ Venus Love Jones

Helping You Be More Poetic, Poised, & Powerful Under Pressure

Author of She Rose, Poetic Keynote Speaker, and (S)hero Trainer

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