The Strength of Women

The Strength of Women

Hannah Napier Rosenberg

We need not look to the history books
to measure the strength of women.
That, we can find in our family tree.

Martha did accounting, ran the numbers for the family business until she died.
Sarah scrubbed church floors to make ends meet after her husband

lay down one day and never got up.
Vicenza took a boat to America with children in tow,
learned English and ran an inn for miners.
Pauline sold goods door to door when her husband

lost his arm in the steel mills,

making more money for the family than they had ever had before.
Other Pauline began college when she had five kids and didn’t finish

until she was a psychoanalyst.
We cling to their unwritten stories with tight fists,
promising them we won’t forget,
listen as their legacy cries quietly out to us:
women are made to carry, they are made to bear,

they are built to be strong.

Hannah Napier Rosenberg

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