Forced Abortions In China – Poetry By Larry Smeets




(For Hui Qing)




In my eighth month

Auntie Number Three

informed on me

to the Family Planners.

Told them I was with child


At night three Planners came

to my hiding place.

Tied me up like a felon

as my man and our son looked on,

to prevent escape.

I pleaded with them

“Please leave me be

till the baby is born.

Then I will have

my tubes tied.”

But they scarcely even listened.

They’d heard it all before.


I was taken away

to thePingTanHospital.

Strapped down

on a steel table.

My blouse was lifted

and my swollen stomach probed

by an  indifferent doctor

to confirm what had been heard.

Then I was injected

in the tummy.

The straps were freed.

I could not run away now

even if I wanted to.

The poison was inside.

I was left alone.


Soon laborpains began.

The spasms crescendoed

into a child’s wrenching cry.

When I heard a nurse say

it’s a girl

my heart leapt up!

Had my daughter survived?

I reached out to take her

in my arms.

“No,” I was bluntly told,

“that is not allowed.”

She was taken away.

And that is the last

I ever saw

of my little baby.

The nurse said later

the injection had pierced

her soft skull,

and she died.

When I heard the news

a part of me died too

for she was so innocent.

What law under heaven

could give any hand the right

to wipe away

such an unblemished life.

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