Saturday, May 2, 2015

Audrey El-Osta: Poetry

To: Not All Men

Life is the longest thing I’ll ever do,
and it's still too short to listen to you,
with your misogynistic, piece of shit
ignorant chat-ups, you don’t have a clue.

Don't talk to me you stupid, sexist fuck,
I can't help think that you're a massive schmuck.
You demand underage girls flash their tits
and hound them on the street to suck your cock.            

You’re not funny with your anti-gay talk,
or your rape jokes behind us while we walk.
Take that fedora elsewhere, fuck right off
with that “chivalry,” I can’t help but baulk.

Life is the longest thing I’ll ever do,
and it’s still too short to listen to you.


I hope your daughter can forgive you:
for letting her in all her perfection,
her health and potential,
be vulnerable to the most malicious, unkind,
destructive plagues to befoul humanity
simply because of your ignorance.

I hope your daughter can forgive you
when she returns the permission slip to school
expressly saying “No,
you won’t get my daughter, you won’t
make her complicit in your pharmaceutical
conspiracy.” Her teacher will look at her,
concerned and horrified on behalf of this child
for whom she is, in effect, a temporary mother
by day. Her friends will ask her
“why aren’t you getting vaccinatated?”
She answers because mum said so.

I hope your daughter can forgive you
as she sits in her doctors office,
not even thirty, nervous, barely breathing,
waiting for an answer to a question
no innocent should have to ask.

I hope your daughter can forgive you,
lying on the operating table.
“Count down from 10 for me baby,
we’ll take care of you.”
Cervix, uterus, ovaries, breasts, lungs, brain.
These things travel, my friend,
and I hope she can forgive you,
as the scalpel descends.

I hope your daughter can forgive you
on her second round of chemo.
Her head in the toilet and her hair on the floor,
purging her soul of any memory of you.
Her protector, her guardian who bore her and
knowingly, willingly, failed her.

I hope your daughter can forgive you
when she decides to stop fighting.
When it’s too much: all that’s left is to enjoy her precious time,
when the morphine hardly makes it bearable
and her friends gather to say goodbye
everyday, for months on end -
I hope your daughter can forgive you.

I hope your daughter can forgive you
as her new family packs up a life that was over
when you made your decision years ago
to spare her the false-proven horror of an immunisation
that could save her life.

I hope your baby can forgive you,
because I won’t.

1 comment:

  1. These poems are totally badass. Though I would add that an entire community may need to give anti-vaccination nuts, because if the rate of vaccination falls too low, it could put everyone at risk of deadly diseases, due to the loss of herd immunity. I can't believe we have self-proclaimed academics telling us that we have to blindly "respect their choices", when they are in fact choosing on behalf of their children like they own them and potentially harming the rest of the world through their "empowered choices".

    I am not a poetry person so sorry I can't provide a proper stylistic analysis, but I really like the blunt language in both the poems and the use of repetition. I wish these were the sorts of poems we studied in school.