The Porter by Edwin Morgan
This poem is the last of five in a sequence about an abortion. It sounds best out loud in Scots.
Ah know ah tellt them lies at the enquiry.
Ah sayed ah thought the wean wis dead
when ah took it tae the incinerator.
Ah didny think the wean wis dead,
but ah didny ken fur shair, did ah?
It's no fur me tae question the doctors.
Ah get a bag fae the sister, right?
She says take that an burn it. She's only
passin on the doctor's instructions,
but she seen the wean, she thought it wis dead,
so ye canny blame her. And the doctor says
ye canny blame him. Everybody wants
tae come doon on me like a tonna bricks.
Ah canny go aboot openin disposal bags -
if ah did ah'd be a nervous wreck.
Ah passed two electricians in the corridor
and ah tellt them the wean wis alive
but they thought ah wis jokin. Efter that
ah jist shut up, an left it tae the boilerman
tae fin oot fur hissel - he couldny miss it
could he? The puir wee thing wis squeelin
through the bag wis it no? Ah canny see
ah had tae tell him whit wis evident.
- Ah know ah'm goin on aboot this.
But suppose the kiddy could've been saved -
or suppose the boilerman hadny noticed it -
mah wee lassie's gote a hamster, ye ken? -
and ah fixed up a treadmill fur it
and it goes roon and roon and roon -
it's jist like that. Well, ah'm no in court noo.
Don't answer nothin incriminatin, says the sherrif.
And that's good enough fur yours truly.
And neither ah did, neither ah did,
neither ah did, neither ah did.
H/T to Ben at Countercultural Father whose idea it was to publish poems on abortion throughout the 40 Days.