Tuesday, March 8, 2022

In Honor of International Women's Day

 19th Amendment Ragtime Parade by Marilyn Chin 

Birthday, birthday, hurray, hurray

The 19th Amendment was ratified today

Drum rolls, piano rolls, trumpets bray

The 19th Amendment was ratified today

Left hand bounces, right hand strays

Maestro Joplin is leading the parade

Syncopated hashtags, polyrhythmic goose-steps

Ladies march to Pennsylvania Avenue!

Celebrate, ululate, caterwaul, praise

Women’s suffrage is all the rage

Sisters! Mothers! Throw off your bustles

Pedal your pushers to the voting booth

Pram it, waltz it, Studebaker roadster it

Drive your horseless carriage into the fray

Prime your cymbals, flute your skirts

One-step, two-step, kick-ball-change

Castlewalk, Turkey Trot, Grizzly Bear waltz

Argentine Tango, flirty and hot

Mommies, grannies, young and old biddies

Temperance ladies sip bathtub gin

Unmuzzle your girl dogs, Iowa your demi-hogs

Battle-axe polymaths, gangster moms

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Lucy Burns and Carrie Chapman Catt

Alice Paul, come one, come all! 

Sign the declaration at Seneca Falls!


Dada-faced spinsters, war-bond Prufrocks

Lillian Gish, make a silent wish

Debussy Cakewalk, Rachmaninoff rap

Preternatural hair bobs, hamster wheels     

Crescendos, diminuendos, maniacal pianos

Syncopation mad, cut a rug with dad!

Oompa, tuba, majorette girl power

Baton over Spamalot!

Tiny babies, wearing onesies

Raise your bottles, tater-tots!

Accordion nannies, wash-board symphonies

Timpani glissando!

                    The Great War is over!

Victory, freedom, justice, reason

Pikachu, sunflowers, pussy hats

Toss up your skull caps, wide brim feathers

Throwing shade on the seraphim

Hide your cell phones, raise your megaphones!

Speak truth to power

                           and vote, vote vote!


Nitwit legislators, gerrymandering fools

Dimwit commissioners, judicial tools

Toxic senators, unholy congressmen

Halitosis ombudsmen, mayoral tricks

Doom calf demagogues, racketeering mules

Whack-a-mole sheriffs, on the take

Fornicator governators, rakehell collaborators

Tweeter impersonators, racist prigs

Postbellum agitators, hooligan aldermen

Profiteering warmongers, Reconstruction dregs


Better run, rascals     better pray

We’ll vote you out      on judgement day!

Better run, rascals      better pray

We’ll vote you out       on election day!

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