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Friday, August 10, 2018


by Elane Gutterman

Marking the 25th anniversary of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s appointment as a Supreme Court justice.

Wielding her intellect 
and legal spear, she protects
the wronged and oppressed.

Decades ago, this Ruth,
shrewd as a snake
defended the right
of frat boys in Oklahoma
to buy their beers, at the same age
as their female peers,
knowing the nine men on the Court
would surely see the slight.
Then she could carry on
with women’s less frothy fight. 

Seated as one of the Nine, 
on a Bench that moved Right,
she is often caught 
in the minority,
yet delivers her dissents
with sword like flash,
through owl-like glasses, 
that current losses will morph
into future triumph. 
She still invokes Sarah Grimké, 
warrior from an earlier era --

I ask no favor for my sex.
All I ask of our brethren
is that they take their feet
off our necks.

Now, the oldest
Left on the Court,
Bader Ginsburg’s battle gear
for the Supreme --
those lace collars.

Through poetry as advocacy, Elane Gutterman is rallying support for the NJ Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act (bills A1504 and S1072 pending votes in the NJ Assembly and Senate this fall). Her villanelle “Misplaced Rage” a response to Dylan Thomas’ iconic villanelle, was recently published in U.S 1 Summer Fiction Issue, July 2018. Her poems have also been published in Kelsey Review, Patterson Literary Review, and TheNewVerse.News.