January 30, 2013 § 5 Comments

Guest Post by Juliana Schmit


my little boy, the joy of my life
my ambitious two-year-old son
he can walk, speak, and point out a cow
or run away when he hears me say “come”
Be it impatience or gleeful song,
the span of his emotion is clear:
he croons “poor baby” to his crying sister
compassionately drawing her near

he is warmly and vividly flesh and blood
his being thrives with life
I’ve bandaged his bleeding and iced his bruises
and kept his tiny feet covered at night

I’ve seen his eyes, their melty brown light
look wounded when I snap too loud
and I’ve seen them crinkle and shine in wonder
when I hold him and say that I’m proud

he knows he’s a person, a funny one, too
he entertains and adores the spotlight
he knows he’s captured the heart of his father
who rushes home to him each night

Anyone could see the way he grows
in every aspect, every day
but who would look and make the claim
“Boy, your fertilized egg turned out great!”

I’d probably turn and furrow my brow
but before I could even respond
would another exclaim “yes it was nice of you
to let that unviable tissue inside of your womb live on!”

are we looking at the same child, I wonder
could they purposely be so blind
so eager to accept mainstream euphemisms
and dismiss my child with practiced lines?

because this toddler that I’m looking at
is a human now, he always was
there was never a magical day when he changed
from a blob to human flesh and blood

if he started off as merely tissue
not a child, but something dismissable
was there a period of time when the change
took place that made him less discardable?

did it start at his head and work its way down
from blob to boy, he slowly changed
was a third of him a human at one point
and then half of him human the next day?

and was two-thirds of him then human (just not the feet)
was he almost done being a “parasite”?
or did it happen in an instant
with a tiny sparking poof of light

the day the laws made it illegal
for me to “get rid of” him
is that the day my son earned the right
to finally be called “human”?

Others might’ve asked of my unborn son
“but will he have financial opportunity?
because if he’s just going to be one more poor person
we might put his personhood under scrutiny.”  (he might not get that title back!)

Well, he’ll have food and clothes to wear
but if necessities were at risk
his father who is man enough to be a father
would work three jobs to take the brunt of it.

“But if you didn’t know his father,
the child was forced on you, a hurtful burden
surely you would have consented then
that he was a problem and you were undeserving.”

and then I’d hang my head in grief
for women who bear that scar…
but a human created in cruelty and hate
is still a human when it’s torn apart.

My son in his first month, unborn
was human, science cannot deny
and he had the right to be called “human”
even if I’d wanted him to die.

the line of development he’s followed
has never been broken from conception through now
silent and defenseless then
he has become dramatic and loud!

my little boy is running in circles
and jabbering as I type
he knows nothing of “tissue” and “parasite”
and “blob of cells” or pro-choice hype.

I am the only one who carried him
who felt his body growing week by week
and being his mother gives me the unopposable authority
to declare that he was human while he was the weakest of the weak.

everything of intelligence, of study
everything of science, faith and reason
acknowledges that my son who is is my son who was
and he’s always had the right to be called human.

Let’s Call It What It Is: “Human”  by Juliana Schmit

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