Medicine Woman

By Nanette L. Avery

Who are you, simple woman?
You- A child of Bristol, a babe of Quaker blood
You that pranced and played with nine siblings
Scattering up the ashes of your burned home
As carefree as dust on the bottom of your soles

You -who knew your form was as worthy as a male
Found your spirit like a caged bird set free across the Atlantic
As tireless as an old seaman rolling over perilous surf
You soaked up knowledge as parched land drinks falling rain
True conqueror were you, young Bess

You -A fair bonneted woman challenged the system
Trespassing into the great males’ territory
Like the flowery bloom on a thorny thistle
You blossomed and flourished, invading the watch fires
Oh woman warrior, you freed the way for your sisters

Medicine Woman, what is your name?
Shhh, does it matter?
Warrior woman, who are you?
I am all women, I am a metaphor, I am a voice, I am wilderness
Valiant woman, who should we celebrate?

Celebrate life

Shhh, I am Elizabeth….I am Blackwell….does it matter?