Photography © Su Lilly


In a year that has taught my stomach
how to take a punch

While the planet we walk on
is, literally, burning

When politics and law has turned
from talking heads to life or death

As the streets fill with
all the colors

I just couldn’t take it when
they told me you were gone.

Ruth, you stood for everyone
including your naysayers.

Only five foot one but anyone
with a conscience had to look up

to see where you were
coming from.

Ruth, to say you were a giant
is to say fish need water.

With evil across the street
you were the balance.

You held on so long, not for you
but for us.

Rest knowing we take this
burden from you.

We will carry it until
the job is done.

Our feet on your back.
Thank you.

We’re gonna Ginsburg the hell
out of what you left us.

Rick Lupert has been involved with poetry in Los Angeles since 1990. He is the recipient of the 2017 Ted Slade Award, and the 2014 Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center Distinguished Service Award, a 3 time Pushcart Prize Nominee, and a Best of the Net nominee. He served as a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets for 2 years, and created Poetry Super Highway. Rick hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading for almost 21 years. His spoken word album Rick Lupert Live and Dead featured 25 studio and live tracks. He’s authored 25 collections of poetry, including The Tokyo-Van Nuys Express, Hunka Hunka Howdee! and God Wrestler (Ain’t Got No Press) and edited the anthologies A Poet’s Siddur, Ekphrastia Gone Wild, A Poet’s Haggadah and the noir anthology The Night Goes on All Night. He also writes and draws (with Brendan Constantine) the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” and writes the poetry column “From the Lupertverse” for He has been lucky enough to read his poetry all over the world.

Su Lilly is a poet and photographer from the New York area. She’s exhibited her work in Boston and New York. She can be reached at

The featured photo was taken outside the Westwood Gallery in New Jersey, featuring the works of artist Helen Frank.