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Wednesday, May 18, 2022


 by Mary K O’Melveny

Cyndi Lauper and Laura Dern

Women have no rights required to be respected

say five jurists whose words hurl us back to ancient time.

What actions are required to see this travesty corrected?


This outcome—undesired by most—was not unexpected.

Women have been told for centuries that men’s role is prime,

that women have no rights required to be respected.


Some say our decisions must be made by men, elected

but clueless, whose laws transform our choices into crime.

What actions shall we take to see such travesty corrected?  


Once a woman’s bodily autonomy has been rejected

by folks who’ve no idea the mountains we must climb,

how can we ensure that anyone’s liberty will be respected?


Diminishments of human rights are always quite connected.

Misogyny, like slavery, depends on whose lives we define

as worth the actions needed to see such travesties corrected. 


Look in the mirror—do you see the person you expected?

No matter age or circumstance, the time has come for rage sublime.

If women have no rights required to be respected,

revolution is what we need to see this travesty corrected.

Mary K O'Melveny is a recently retired labor rights attorney who lives in Washington DC and Woodstock NY.  Her work has appeared in various print and on-line journals. Her most recent poetry collection is Dispatches From the Memory Care Museum, just out from Kelsay Books. Her first poetry chapbook A Woman of a Certain Age is available from Finishing Line Press. Mary’s poetry collection Merging Star Hypotheses was published by Finishing Line Press in January, 2020.