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poetry Independence Day

Poet Ehrhart questions how our Declaration of Independence can be true, even as the nation moved toward democracy, perhaps a warning that Constitutional originalism is equally absurd.

Independence Day

By W. D. Ehrhart


It is indeed inarguably

self-evident that all men

are created equal, endowed

by their Creator with certain

inalienable rights including

life, liberty, and happiness,

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or at least the pursuit thereof.

All men, excepting of course

Negroes, savages, the poor,

the uneducated, indentured

servants, and women; all

women, regardless of race,

ethnicity, social standing,

economic status, or education.

After all, it doesn’t say that all

people are created equal,

or all human beings, but rather

all men.  And women aren’t men.

Moreover, how can anyone be

a real man if he is not white,

propertied, and literate?

W. D. Ehrhart’s latest poetry collections are Thank You for Your Service: Collected Poems (McFarland, 2019) and At Smedley Butler’s Grave (Moonstone, 2023).