A group of diverse women smiling and laughing at the camera

Our hands aren’t big enough to hold all their names
Every artist who sacrificed for her craft
Every founder who built her dreams
Every activist who taught her neighbors to hope
Every mother who fought for her family

The best we can do is dig,
day by day and year by year,
untangling the stories of women
reduced to “pretty,” “smart” or “trouble”
from the dirt—debris of a history
slow to notice and slower to celebrate.

The best we can do is plant,
day by day and year by year,
reminding each other
through monuments and museums
daughters and dreams,
of our recovered legacies.

The best we can do is grow,
day by day and year by year,
spreading the leaves of fresh stories
and the buds of bursting hopes
over newly tilled rows of
incurable perseverance.

How do you celebrate Women’s History Month? What do the trailblazing women of the past and present mean to you?

Image via Ben Cope, Darling Issue No. 19

1 comment

  1. Shelbi, this poem meant a lot to me
    My favorite stanza is
    “The best we can do is dig,
    day by day and year by year,
    untangling the stories of women
    reduced to “pretty,” “smart” or “trouble”
    from the dirt—debris of a history
    slow to notice and slower to celebrate.”
    People do use adjectives–whether positive or negative– to reduce women to less than their worth. I love that you’re inspiring us to resurrect our heroines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*