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)

4 responses

  1. A wonderful tribute to RBG. What a great summary of her life and efforts.

    1. Thank you, Maureen. We have lost a great one. xoxo

  2. This poem is a beautiful summation of a powerful spirit, compassionate, intelligent, and an inspiration for all of us. You’ve put my own feelings into words.

    1. Thank you, Judy. I think she will live on in words, songs, stories and legal judgements for years to come. xoxo

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