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Course of American Rights, 2022

by Lionel E. Deimel


Rights unconceived

Rights named

Rights sought

Rights won

Rights protected

Rights threatened

Rights defended

Rights restricted

Rights revoked

Rights uncertain?

v v v

I was in a dark mood when I composed this poem. I was thinking about events in our history that have not exactly covered our nation with glory: slavery, Jim Crow laws, Salem witch trials, Wounded Knee, internment of ethnic Japanese, UpStairs Lounge, Pulse Nightclub, among others.

I began thinking about liberty and the tenuousness it seems to have acquired in the wake of the Supreme Courtís decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Womenís Health Organization. I was thinking particularly about abortion rights, but there are many reasons to fear for other freedoms as well. Justice Thomasís concurring opinion in Dobbs has intensified that fear.

The poem was written shortly after Independence Day 2022. My friend Lisa Keppeler helped me edit my initial draft.

ó LED, 4/6/2023

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