Marching in Augusta, Maine today, in solidarity with millions around the world, I kept hearing Genevieve Taggard’s amazing 1935 poem in my mind. It’s the rhythm of herstory. Congratulations to all my sisters and brothers who are helping to bring the power of female energy back into the light on this breakthrough day.
Last, walking with stiff legs as if they carried bundles
Came mothers, housewives, old women who knew why they abhorred war.
Their clothes bunched about them, they hobbled with anxious steps
To keep with the stride of the marchers, erect, bearing wide banners.
Such women looked odd, marching on American asphalt.
Kitchens they knew, sinks, suds, stew-pots and pennies . . .
Dull hurry and worry, clatter, wet hands and backache.
Here they were out in the glare on the militant march.
How did these timid, the slaves of breakfast and supper
Get out in the line, drop for once dish-rag and broom?
Here they are as work-worn as stitchers and fitters.
Mama have you got some grub , now none of their business.
Oh, but these who know in their growing sons and their husbands
How the exhausted body needs sleep, how often needs food,
These, whose business is keeping the body alive,
These are ready, if you talk their language, to strike.
Kitchen is small, the family story is sad.
Out of the musty flats the women come thinking:
Not for me and mine only. For my class I have come
To walk city miles with many, my will in our work.