If you are under the moon’s bleeding sway by Moira Garland

“Whilst many people are now incensed by cruel changes to abortion law coming into effect in some states of America, Northern Ireland’s policies are often overlooked. As citizens of the United Kingdom if we are appalled about America we should too be appalled about our own nation. This poem is a great reminder of that and stylistically references many an NHS questionnaire I have filled in, which is a great way to discuss the medical nature of abortion rather than the moral panic.” Our thanks as ever to guest editor Kinsman!

If you are under the moon’s bleeding sway
(in support of the Northern Irish campaign to liberalise the abortion law)

If you are under the moon’s bleeding sway
                                                                     in the North

If you don’t have a couple of thou
                                                                    in the North

If you live like an anchorite
                                                                    in the North

If you don’t have beautiful sex with him
                                                                    in the North

If you have beautiful sex with her
                                                                    in the North

If you wait too long
                                                                    in the North

If you trust the post(man)
                                                                    in the North

If you trust your flatmates
                                                                    in the North

If mifepristone and prostaglandin are poetry
                                                                    in the North

You are a woman, my daughter
You are a woman with choice
You can miss the boat                           from the North.

photo Moira Garland

Moira Garland lives in Leeds. Her poetry has appeared in magazines including The North, and in anthologies such as Pale Fire: New Writings on the Moon. She was the winner of the Leeds Peace Poetry Competition 2016. She is a retired melodeon player, and ex-college lecturer.

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