Through a Closed Door
Does a bullet fired through a closed door
Kill more acceptably?
Is the trauma of death made easier,
And the bite of conscience less painful,
When the victim need not be confronted?
Like an unwanted kitten drowned in a sack,
Or a faceless innocent of war,
Slaughtered in a hailstorm of bombs from above,
Does anonymity seem to soften the act,
By obscuring the result?
You were there, Lord, in the warmth of conception.
Were You not there too when the partnership was routinely dissolved,
In the chilling void of love and swirl of hospital green?
Did you not breathe in the heavy odor of antiseptic?
See the flash of surgical steel?
Hear the leathal suction?
Know that, to the masked and gowned that were present,
The tiny fetal life was but excess tissue?
An offending cluster of cells,
No more than appendix,
Without a whisper of defense.
Is not the rose, cut as a bud, still a rose?
Open wide our eyes that we might see the sacred
Beauty of your creation:
In the flower,
In the kitten,
In the delicate splendor and promise
Of each new human life.
– James Howard Ribbe