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Tuesday, July 02, 2024


by Felicia Nimue Ackerman

Cartoon by Terry Torgerson

In a 6-3 decision, which broke along ideological lines, the court’s conservative majority said that regulations penalizing people for sleeping in public spaces such as parks and streets do not constitute "cruel and unusual punishment" under the Eighth Amendment, even when a community lacks indoor shelter and its unhoused residents have nowhere else to go. —The Washington Post, June 28, 2024

Don't let the homeless sleep outdoors.
We really need to quell them.
When they deface our public space,
We might as well expel them.

Just keep them out of sight and then
Ignore their angry voices.
It's time for them to learn the truth:
They're not the ones with choices.

Felicia Nimue Ackerman is a professor of philosophy at Brown University and has had over 300 poems in places including American Atheist, The American Scholar, Better Than Starbucks, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Down in the Dirt, The Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin, Free Inquiry, The Galway Review, Light Poetry Magazine, Lighten Up Online, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Daily News, The New York Times, Options (Rhode Island's LGBTQ+ magazine), The Providence Journal, Scientific American, Sparks of Calliope, Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and Your Daily Poem. She has also had six previous poems in The New Verse News.