Warrior Women

Gathering berries, with her newborn strapped close to her chest
Breathing in the fresh autumn air of the Northwoods
And feeling her baby’s heartbeat in rhythm with her own,
Off in the distance, she hears the beating of the ceremonial drums calling her name
Raped by the new settler, disguised as a friend
Violated, betrayed, and left behind
Stripped of her land, where her heart lies buried deep within the richn soil
Be Zha Ge Zha Geh Kwe, daughter of Ojibwa Nation…
Carry on, brave warrior

Sweating from the hot, Mississippi sun, with blistering hands and feet
Picking cotton for hours in the vast cotton fields of the South
Passing her time and pacing her work, she sings in harmony with her sisters
They sing of hope and despair, their voices reach high towards the sun
Beaten and whipped at the hands of her master
Frightened, furious, and dehumanized
Separated from her family, sold to a neighboring plantation, her heart cries
Christoria Eve, daughter of Africa
Carry on, brave warrior

Crossing the rough waters of the Atlantic Ocean on board a crowded, unsanitary ship
Inhaling the stench of her fellow third-class passengers for weeks
She holds her children close to protect them from kidnappers and thieves
Arriving, finally, at Ellis Island, standing in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty
She dreams of a new life, sold on the visions of peace, freedom, and opportunity
Homeless, lost, and starting over
Treated like cattle by the port authorities
Elvi, daughter of Finland
Carry on, brave warrior

These are our ancestors, our blood, and our women
Women of our past whose voices are void within the pages of our history books
Our great-grandmothers, our grandmothers, and our mothers
Mistreated, abused, and courageous
The fiber of our country, America’s greatest warrior women
In their honor, we shall make them proud
So I say to you, “Carry on, brave warrior women.”