Most days, I don’t know strong.
Not the lift my arm, flex my guns type of strong, because you and I both know that I can barely do a push up.
So I never really know much about that type of strong.
I’m talking about the type of strong that will keep this a secret, and still crush me.
Demand me into silence, teeth and jaw and fist.
So I will fold it and shove it underneath my pillow.
The type of strong that forces me to beg you.
And I will beg you to let me hold onto this.
Let me hold onto this like it’s the last part I have of you.
Don’t make me go to that clinic, I beg you, let me look into the mirror and see a mother, not a graveyard.
You see, I keep finding my hand on my stomach.
My fingers tracing the letters to everything their name could’ve been, on the skin under my belly button.
I press my palm against my flesh, and I can feel a heartbeat but I know it’s my own that echoes through these veins.
And at the end of the day, our hearts beat as one.
So when their heart stops, I wonder if mine will too.
I know the type of strong that will go back and forth on my decision a million times,
and I’m sorry that I keep telling you I’m keeping it,
but I can’t seem to shake this uncertainty and regret and I wish this weren’t the case.
I wish I had the kind of strong that prepared me for those two pink lines.
It breaks me that this is goodbye before I even knew hello, and I’m never going to meet them.
They could have your eyes, and they could have my nose.
And at three weeks, their heart started to beat.
And at four weeks, I was running out of my english classroom, because morning sickness decided to check in.
Now I’m sitting in social studies, and you’re sitting across from me, and a girl asks,
“Why do the abortion protestors come to a high school?”
I hope you saw my jaw clench, and my eyes close.
Because now my brain is running through everything I wish I had done differently,
and everything that I wish I had been strong enough for.
You see, I wish that I had the strong that allowed me to go against what was best for you, to do what was right for me.
But my strong just leaves me wondering if it were a boy or a girl.
My strong makes me want to go to walmart and buy those glow in the dark stars, stick them to the ceiling of my room, and call it a nursery.
My strong reminds me of when I was little, and my mom put pigtails in my hair.
My strong looks like tired eyes, in a bed made of sheets that needed to be washed two weeks ago.
It looks like a seventeen year old girl, that wants to go to graduate high school, but she has to be anxious about mifepristone, before she can be anxious about university acceptance.
My strong makes me feel like I’m losing a piece of myself, and my soul is being ripped from my body.
I don’t know a strong that is enough for what I need it to be.
My strong tells me to apologize, but I don’t know how many more sorrys I can give out.
I’m sorry to bring you into this.
I’m sorry that I told you.
I’m sorry that I’m scared.
I’m sorry that I can’t bring a little more of you, and a little more of me into this world.
That they will never see the blue skies, or the green fields, or the yellow flowers.
They will never know the sweet songs that you sing, or the warm chortle of your laugh, like a fire that burns through a forest of sorrow. They will only know my cries, and my sadness, and this black cloud that floats around me and screams storms when I hold my belly.
My strong tells me that this is more than just taking a pill.
It tells me that this is death,
do I need to write an obituary?
You tell me that I am so strong,
but the door to the abortion clinic is so heavy,
and I can barely do a push up.
This comes from a place of complete desperation. Because I was alone in my journey, and I needed someone to hear me.