A chilly Saturday morning in Cleveland,
standing outside a clinic next to my pastor
saying the rosary in the bitter cold
penetrating my gloves.
Others rattle their rosary beads
murmuring the various prayers,
the smell and taste of the exhaust
from downtown traffic
cuts through my half-asleep stupor.
People drive by, somewhat apathetically;
some walk up to me and get into my face,
saying that I am less of a woman for doing this,
telling me I’m being stupid and restricting women’s rights.
They are patronizing, saying that one day I’ll understand why
abortion is legal.
They say I’m protesting because I’m young
and don’t understand what their reasoning is.
Sometimes I counter their arguments
but don’t wage war over senseless murder
because words can kill, too.
The rosary beads continue to rattle,
prayers continue to be said.
My protest goes forward. But not silently.