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Ellen McGrath Smith: Erasures


To a Candid World

Election Day, 2018


Dependent on his Will alone,

the political bands are totally dissolved:

light and transient causes,

convulsions within,

domestic insurrection;

Cruelty and Perfidy’s God fatiguing us

into compliance, he has erected

places unusual, uncomfortable,

and distant, obstructing

migrations hither

with swarms of Officers

to harrass people; endeavored

to prevent native justice and magnanimity,

to eat out their substance,

abolishing the forms.

The legislative powers

are more disposed to suffer

a long train of abuses and usurpations

than oppose with firmness his invasions.

A Tyrant, unfit to be the ruler of a free people.




The people desire a free state. No soldier

shall abuse arms. A well-regulated militia

shall make no law prohibiting the free

exercise of the press; two-thirds of the people

shall not be confronted with infamous crime

by powers not designated. For the people

to be secure and with just compensation,

the United States Constitution shall not be

construed to deny or disparage rights

retained by the people, shall be valid to all.


After Tracy K. Smith and the Founding Fathers


Ellen McGrath Smith is the author of Nobody’s Jackknife. She lives in Pittsburgh.

Copyright 2018 Ellen McGrath Smith


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