Tonight I wear red in support of my feminist sisters,

the Radical Handmaids, who gathered today on Parliament Hill

in opposition to Motion 312 which re-opens the abortion debate

tomorrow afternoon in the House of Commons.

And I share this poem.


Birthing change



Once upon a time his blue eyes dazzled her

maiden dreams    led her down dirt

roads, onto prairie trails, into abandoned

houses, churches, barns, unwittingly

preparing her for an entry that quivered her world,

sent her solo, pink-slipped, and with a growing belly

to face family, to seek and not find

solace in a religion she turned upside-down and inside-out.



His greenbacks, her choice:

law-breaker. One little lie dupes doctors, the system.


How can she live knowing sin in so many ways, knowing nothing

will ever be the same?



She clings to the shiver of ecstasy

builds another world in her mind

other possibilities, dreams. How she clings, still.



He drove her to the streets.



She found circles of women singing

Bread and roses, chanting in the streets

The personal is political!


Community, like a blanket, receiving,

bearing witness, holding,

keeping faith.


c. Bernadette L. Wagner


Bernadette Wagner

Regina Bernadette Wagner is an award-winning writer, a community activist and a singer. Her work has been published in newspapers, magazines, chapbooks and anthologies, on radio, television,...