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A MISCARRIED LIFE

Dreamed 1981/2/12 by Chris Wayan

I'm a young girl on the Lewis and Clark expedition, which is really led by John Wayne. I'm a guide--not Sacajawea, just a very junior assistant named Hattie. The men treat me as an amateur, and I start to feel that way.

I'm pregnant, maybe that's why they patronize me.

John Wayne leaves me to mind base camp while they go off for days. I live there in a clearing, basking naked in the sun. They warned me the mosquitos and flies would eat me alive, but I find they're only out at dawn and dusk, not midday.

One day, I hear a noise one day--Wayne returning? No! A stranger! I nearly attack him. He's a tall thin bearded dark-haired French fur-trader. I don't know if it was the shock, but I go into premature labor and miscarry.

Or do I give birth? I'm so out of it, I have to ask.

The man tells me "No, you only bore a little piece of meat. No, not a dead baby. Maybe it was part of the placenta. Not the whole thing, so there may be more... You have a problem pregnancy there! You'll have to stay home, now, and wait... you can't be an explorer no more."

"But exploring's all I ever wanted!" I cry inside, over and over. Silently. As the years pass. In the city. Walking city streets, decade after decade, waiting for the rest of the stillbirth he told me I had.

I went to the doctors of course, and they said it's a Heart Murmur. Murmuring "You're sick. Take it easy. Don't explore."

I live to be 100 years old.

Waiting for my life.

NOTES:

The dream mixes LITTLE BIG MAN and John Wayne's self-parody TRUE GRIT, with me as Hattie.

So I believe all these men, and abort my life... over and over.

Don't you do it. One-shot abortion's rough enough--but ongoing?

And when it's you you abort...



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