Response to the Fetuses in Jars

(The Hunterian Museum: the Royal College of Surgeons of England)
I. Prevention of the Unborn

Beginnings with Mercury
sheep skin and silphium,

a match to

for lovemaking.

A woman’s body, handled
and torn, swollen from
wishing for rest and pleasure.

A child’s lips- milking
but the cause of age,
as one splits into three.


II. Termination of the Unborn

The product of
otium lovemaking
and the investigations
of the intellectual

Children never meant
to live.

One, encased in glass, now a
specimen, collected by
surgeons- a natural death,
a stillbirth, a miscarriage
(blamed on the mother,
thoughts wanton or chaste).

wrapped in the uterus,
swimming in a pool
of unwanted water,
methods of removal
then plunged into the
walls of tissue and
consumed, ripped, torn

-a method of birth control,
when not a remedy for
predicted death,
the taking of a life.

Buried into the ground,
or burnt to ash,
preserved in a jar.