Poem: stephanie vogel

Poem: stephanie vogel

Four Freedoms

I want to do work of Michelangelo proportions.

According to Norman Rockwell.

And paint the modern Four Freedoms.


Freedom of Speech -

One of the protected ones.

A lone man standing at a town hall meeting,

An unpopular view on his tongue in 1943.

Onlookers uncomfortable seated on wooden chairs,

Faces concerned, some fearful, some oblivious

I will paint a modern man, taking a stand

By taking a knee.

In response the National Anthem no longer aired:

What power!


Freedom of Worship

Another protected one.

Gray-haired woman, age-worn eyes closed, head bowed in prayer.

Rosary beads held in anticipation

Some eyes forward -

Each according to the dictates of his own conscience.

I will paint a modern woman, hair covered with a scarf.

Perhaps she will run for congress and win.

Despite the towers having fallen making everyone terrified of

Anything different.


Freedom from Want.

A Thanksgiving dinner.

Aproned matriarch, bringing the bounty.

Youngest son looking out at us - an invitation?

Gleaming silver and sparkling water in full glasses,

Enough for everyone.

I will paint a modern scene of many people.

In the reserved land of the Dakotas.

Protecting water the most precious of resources

And being hosed down.


Freedom from Fear.

Time for bed.

Parents tucking in their beautiful boys

Crisp white sheets

Father holds newspaper, headlined:

Bombing. Horror.

I too will paint children.

These will be in school.

Active shooter drill in progress.

Behind barricades.


I’ll paint the same Four Freedoms.

And long for them.

And march for them.


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photograph: “bird” also by stephanie vogel

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