Monthly Archives: September, 2020


ILLUSTRATION: Philip Bannister, based on a photo in ‘Time’ credited to
Steve Petteway – Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States


After watching others come and go,
she tried, quite young,
to open doors,

not wanting to forgo her chance,

she persisted,

by opening the kitchen cupboards
and forming a band
with pots and pans,

it got everyone’s attention,

so, she persisted,

through kindergarten,
grade school, high school,
college, parenthood,
law school,

she made good noise,

then, rejection, dejection,
doors firmly closed,
no women here, no Jews here,
no young mothers here,

all reasons to exclude,
back then,

yet, over time,
through renewed effort,
doors opened,

she stepped through one,
after another, after another,
until one set remained,

the doors to the Supreme Court,

they were heavy,
weighty with decisions
that had come before,

she bore the mantle of it all
with wisdom, honor and grace,
through cancer, through loss,
through political strife,

she persisted and insisted on doing her best,
for all of us,

and now her loss is hard to bear.

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)



I purchased a big box of crayons,

I hoped, in the neat, pointed rows
to discover the color of America,

I found Strawberry Jam, Wild Tangerine,
Screamin’ Green, Outrageous Orange,
loud, profound colors,
bold, ambitious blends,

they called to me
over subtler shades
like Robin’s Egg Blue, Mountain Meadow,
Sunset Orange, Carnation Pink,

hues with something to say,
yet holding less sway in our noisy world
where a slash of Laser Lemon
easily turns heads,

we’re a messy, noisy crowd in America,

we color outside the lines,
create our own designs,

we love with abandon,
hate with fervor,
embrace with passion,
march with purpose,

we like to clash,
complain, shout in ALL CAPS
while insisting our views,
our hues, are the best,

it’s a test every day
to find the true us,
the depth we need,
the hope we seek,

our great melting pot
under red, white and blue
will never be calm,
or a rainbow post-storm,

we’ve come far
on our kaleidoscope shores,
but not far enough,

we’ll walk on together
and continue to honor,
continue to ponder,
the colorful hues of our vexing,
perplexing, audacious,
beloved land.