Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Poem: "If I Were Picking a Supreme"

If I were picking a Supreme Court justice,
I'd pick a Second Grade teacher, because every Second Grade Teacher
I've ever known was fair and kind and smart, smart, smart.

If I were picking a Supreme Court justice,
I'd pick a firefighter, twenty years on the job, because every one
I've ever known has been brave and wise and entirely committed.

And (by the way) every one of them has known
How to cook for himself, too.
That counts for something.

If I were picking a Supreme Court justice,
I'd pick a Sufi sheikh from LA or San Jose,
Because the Sufis I know are humble and sweet and they can sing.

If I were picking a Supreme Court justice,
I'd ask myself: has she ever held a dying man's hand,
In a sadly underfunded, desperately understaffed hospital?
I'd ask myself: can he comfort a seven-year-old
Whose mother's been ripped from his arms at the border?

If I were picking a Supreme Court justice,
I'd pick the ninety-six-year old I know who still gardens on his knees
And writes hand-written thank you notes for simple things
And looks a suffering neighbor in the eye, and says,

What can I do for you?

DGJ
6/27/18
On the day Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Court.