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July 26

by WrenZorya

July 26, 1990.

The day that changed the lives of over 61 million Americans.

The day the ADA was signed.

But how did we get here? How did we reach this place after being refused for so long?

March 12, 1990.

An unusually hot day.

The day that dozens of incapacitated pioneers

Men and women,

Children and adults,

cast aside their mobility devices;

their wheelchairs, their walkers, their canes

and slowly made the grueling journey to the Capitol building,


up the 78 steps to equality.

Were you scared? Your hours of labor could have been for nothing, your voices falling flat on this sacred freedom monument.

Hours of crawling, climbing, creeping up the white marble steps

hoping and praying that someone would listen.

What was it like to reach the top?

Hot, sweaty, exhausted, and parched,

but overwhelmingly, triumphantly relieved?

Taking a break to catch your breath after fighting your war peacefully

You've proved your point, you've made your mark, you've screamed into the void and shown that you won't take no for an answer

July 26, 1990.

For months later, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed.

A huge step for disabled rights.

You've won, you've done it, your voice is heard!

You are the forerunners to change, the heralds of equality

They've listened and understood.

July 26, 2021

The ADA? Pshh, no one really cares about that anymore, do they?

Your forward leap is sliding back

Thirty years later, no one remembers the Capitol Crawl.

It's not taught in schools.

It's not on the news.

They push your victory out of our minds.

But I know

This is for you, the brave outliers

Old, young, black, white, disabled and not,

who risked imprisonment to give millions a better life.

Thank you.

For rights,

For a voice,

And for your perserverance.

July 26, 2051?

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41 Reviews

Points: 759
Reviews: 41

Fri Jul 30, 2021 10:14 pm
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TheWordsOfWolf wrote a review...

Hi, hello, good morning good evening, good afternoon and good night as well as all the other pleasant greetings one may be accustomed to. Due to an unfortunate juggling accident I've lost my memory and cannot remember my standard greeting and I've been kicked out of the talent show but that's a story for another time. Wren its always so much fun reviewing your work and I am sure you know why. No that is not sarcasm.
This poem/ narative was wonderful, simply wonderful. I love the unique perspective you have on it, a personal point of view and opinion rather than a zoomed out glance. I have to say I think the line "up the 78 steps to equality." is by far my favorite. I read it and it just hit me so perfectly like walking into a room that smells like your favorite food.
also the last bit is very powerful from "but I know" on is a perfect ending

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15 Reviews

Points: 30
Reviews: 15

Wed Jul 28, 2021 8:42 pm
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eilisBK wrote a review...

Hey there, EilĂ­s here with a short lil' review.

To start off, I really like this piece. I was unsure how I would feel about it at first, but it really picked up after the first couple of lines. Not only did I learn something new about American history, but I had fun doing so as well. Adding in the dates was a nice touch. Your use of rhetoric with the rhetorical question was good too as well as the perspective you've written this in.

I'm unsure if the date at the very end posed with a question is really necessary. I think without it your poem would still be strong if not stronger. If you do want to keep that date in, then I would suggest changing the punctuation from a question mark to something else. Perhaps written like this: July 26, 2051- As this implies that it has been cut off/more will be added later on. A question just seems a little too unclear. Perhaps that's what you're going for, but I feel like the dash gives closure without actually giving it at the same time. Does that make sense?

Overall, this is a really strong poem. Especially considering it's about a topic that not many are educated on. Really nice work, I look forward to seeing what else you have to offer.

WrenZorya says...

Thank you so much! I understand what you mean about the dash, I think that probably makes more sense!

— soundofmind