Lauren Breyer: To the Women

Lithograph 1917
Lithograph 1917

To my mother
and her mother
and her mother.

To my sister
and her sister
and her sister.

To my daughter
and her daughter
and her daughter.

To all the maidens,
mothers, queens
and crones.

To all the witches, medicine women,
midwives, and storytellers.

To the women
who went to wars,
waged by men
who offered comfort and healing.

To the women
who were left behind,
who worked the factories,
cared for the babies
and made due without nylon.

To the women
who got us the vote,
legal abortions,
and the permission
to wear pants at work.

To those brave souls,
who didn’t fall in line
but who
held the line,
broke the rules,
challenged the norms.

To those who stepped outside
the confines of domesticity,
opening the way for possibly.

To the women who embraced
their sexual selves,
and that of their lovers,
discovered the g-spot
and made the female orgasm
part of the national conversation.

For those women,
humble, brave, angry, passionate,
joyful, resilient, strong;
made to feel small,
unsafe, too big, too loud,
too smart, too much.

To those women,
I honor you.
I stand on your shoulders,
in your shadow,
inspired by
your countless acts of rebellion,
at home and out in the world.

With this breath,
this pen,
these words,
I swear,
to do right by you.

I vow to carry your torches
in every way that my hands are able,
in the time I have left.


lauren-beurskensLauren Breyer lives and writes poems in Illinois. Her work randomly appears in texts to friends. She aspires to be present to all that is in this life.


Poet, Promptress, and Coach providing fierce encouragement for writing + life and gentle creative guidance for writers all over the world.

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