Sun dog.

Sun dog.

Brothers watching a crop duster, near Fallon, WA, June 2014.

Holy shit.

Garbanzos coated in bright red fertilizer, Fallon, WA, April 2014.

In April on the Palouse, you might look south and see a staggering sunny day, then turn around north to dark, threatening skies. The winter wheat by this time is vivid and green, but the fields still awaiting garbanzos and lentils remain in cake-brown furrows. You can still smell winter when the clouds pass over you and the wind hits your chest, but when they float past, the sun makes you sweat and pull off your jacket.

Morro Bay, California, December, 2013.

So in many ways, being a friend is much easier than trying to save the world. And yet, it’s also much harder. Your life will get messier. You’ll have to struggle with how best to help your friend and those decisions can be heart-breaking at times. Volunteering a few hours at the food pantry or sponsoring a child in Africa is a whole lot easier and cleaner than making friends and opening up your life to the needs, demands and sin of others. To say nothing of how your needs, wants and sins will affect them.

So the number of babies killed in the USA through abortion in four months is about the same number of Americans killed during the whole of the Second World War.

One of several staggering statements in Augusto Zimmerman’s Feminism and Gendercide of Unwanted Girls. Here are a couple more:

None of the early feminists believed that abortion was a woman’s right. On the contrary, they believed that women’s equality would end abortion for good. Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902), whose “Declaration of Sentiments” (1848) is credited with initiating the struggle towards women’s suffrage in the United States, explains in a letter to a supporter, in 1873: “When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.”

Because of sex-selection abortions, a survey of a dozen villages in India has found that out of a total population of ten thousand, only fifty were girls. In neighbouring China two-thirds of all children born are males because of selective abortion against female babies. In the countryside, the ratio of boys to girls is four to one. One academic source has suggested that there could be a ratio of 168 males for every 100 girls in Danzhou. According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, by the year 2020 there will be 30 million more men than women of marriageable age in China. One in five young Chinese men will be unable to find a bride.

They said she was stuck
as though she was a nine-pound human fork
pronged in the dishwasher,
an umbrella that wouldn’t fold to size.
I pushed until I thought I’d turn inside out
and yet she sat in my cervix for hours,
as the contractions collapsed on me
like skyscrapers,
as they talked about the knife.

Second time round, the sour sensation
of complete idiocy
for willing this pain again, going through it,
risking so much for someone
who remained at the fringes of knowing,
ghosted by awful wisdom
that birth isn’t the end of it, nor the worst –
episiotomy; infections; afterpains; breastfeeding.
But my body remembered,
it took the first shunt of his head, yawned, then
toboganned him out in a gush of brine,
red as a crab. I remember his arms
like socks full of eggs, muscular, fists bunched,
as though he’d been prepared to fight.

"Home Birth" by Carolyn Jess-Cooke. Found here thanks to Micah Mattix.