Blood and Bone
By Mary Carroll-Hackett
Thirty minutes ago, five minutes after the Not Guilty verdict was announced in the trial in which George Zimmerman was charged with murdering Trayvon Martin, my oldest son J texted me to let me know when he would be coming home tonight, signing off with Love you, Mom. That’s when I started to cry.
Among much other excellent world-saving work, Writing for Peace is exploring Women’s Rights and Gun Violence.
Tonight is about both.
These are not intellectual pursuits. These are blood and bone issues, central to survival for each of us. The current state of our culture and government is literally ripping the precious flesh of who we are as a species, who we should be sharing this planet with other species.
The rights of mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins, nieces, are being reduced to political weaponry, weapons of a theocracy of fear.
Our children are dying.
That’s what we should fear.
Women will die.
Your sister. Your cousin. Your daughter. Bleeding out on a table somewhere as a result of an unsafe now-illegal medical procedure that’s nobody’s business but her own.
My mama always said, “Your rights end where another person’s rights begin.”
Right to life also applies to a woman’s right to decisions about her own body. It applies to second graders feeling safe in their classrooms. It applies to young women and men having the education and guidance to make smart birth control decisions before bringing more hungry babies into this world. And it applies to all of us mamas, half asleep, but listening for our teenage and young adult sons to come back in through that door safely.
These are not just political concepts to be argued over, filibustered, parlayed for profit and power. These are blood and bone realities.
Trayvon’s mama will replay her own version of bullet to bone again and again in her mind. And she will keep listening for that door to open, y’all. Forever, she will be listening.
Love you, Mom.
Mary Carroll-Hackett earned an MFA in Literature and Writing from Bennington College in June 2003. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in more than a hundred journals including Carolina Quarterly, Clackamas Literary Review, Pedestal Magazine, The Potomac, Reed, Superstition Review, Drunken Boat and The Prose-Poem Project, among others. Her awards include being named a North Carolina Blumenthal Writer and winner of the Willamette Award for Fiction. She had an O Henry Recommended recognition for her story “Placing,” and her collection of poems, The Real Politics of Lipstick, won the 2010 annual poetry competition by Slipstream. Her chapbook Animal Soul, is forthcoming this year from Kattywompus Press. She has taught writing for nearly twenty years, and in 2003, founded the Creative Writing programs, undergraduate and graduate, at Longwood University in Farmville, VA, serving as Program Director of those programs until Fall 2011. She also teaches writing workshops on Writing Grief and Loss, Writing the Body, and Writing the Earth in partnership with The Porches Writers Retreat in Virginia, and will be offering writing workshops also for the foundation Little Pink Houses of Hope, a charity offering beach treats for breast cancer patients and their families. She was also recently invited to participate in Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know, an international project curated by Annette Marie Hyder, celebrating the diversity of feminism found throughout the world. Mary founded and has edited for the last nine years The Dos Passos Review, Briery Creek Press, and The Liam Rector First Book Prize for Poetry. Most recently, she co-founded and launched SPACES, an innovative online magazine of art and literature, featuring videos of writers reading. Mary is currently at work on a collection of personal essays.
Learn more about Mary Carroll-Hackett here.
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