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The Eyes of Texas and the Nays

The governor says, My people must
be free! No mask mandates for our
schools or businesses. Forget
vaccines. Only if you feel like it.

The governor says, My people are
free! They can carry guns, even
automatics, to school, to church,
on the street in case they see

someone whose skin they don’t
like—such people are scary
to them. They must defend them
selves against what annoys.

The governor says, My people
are free to vote, unless they live
in cities, unless they’re Latinx
or Black or other likely Democrats.

But, the governor says, women’s
wombs must be ruled by us old
white gentlemen to protect rights
of rapists. Women cannot be

trusted to be free. We own their
bodies. We have the right to ruin
their lives. Neighbors are free too
to snitch on anyone they dislike.

Marge Piercy is the author of many books of poetry, most recently On the Way Out, Turn Off the Light (Knopf, 2020).
2021, Commentary, Volume 73, Number 7 (December 2021)
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