Heroine

Many have heroes, it is true.

Costumed and cloaked are some.

Many others wear a uniform.

Those brave men who serve

and sacrifice for their cause.

 

Me, I have a heroine, or two

maybe as many as a dozen.

Most are lost to memory, faded.

Some stood by her man, others

stood alone holding life together.

 

My great grandmother rode here

on these prairies grand, sidesaddle.

She rode toting pistol and carrying babe.

Her grace and courage paved the way

for the pretty girls who came safely later.

 

She wasn’t alone on these prairies you know.

She had sisters from edge to edge, age to age.

Some rode free, some dug deep, all fought hard.

All made their way in a land that killed their men,

stole their babies and their dreams. They stayed.

 

I have freedom to roam, and to be what I want.

Not because a man said I could, oh no.

But because they first walked the way I do.

Heroine to me for taking the untrod path

she walked, rode and she didn’t stop.

 

A poet can be in prison’d for seven years.

What prison would we be in if not for the

pioneer women who made the way possible?

Their sisters  in the tribes made their way too!

The story is not really that of a lady, be sure.

 

Their story is one of blood, tears, grief and joy.

They learned to fight battles with more than guns,

they fought just by staying there, staying alive.

They fought with books for churches and schools.

Making a new path and leaving a trail behind.

 

Heroine, heroine –  how I long for your courage.

Heroine, heroine – how I long for your grace.

Heroine, heroine – how I long for your strength.

I follow her path, and make new ones as I go.

I reap her legacy and honour her memory.

 

Dedicated to my great grandmothers who came to this country in covered wagons and afoot, my grandmothers who came here to start anew from an old country that no longer wanted them.  For the Cree and Kootaney elders who don’t remember they told me the stories, but I promise not to forget.  For the woman of color who wouldn’t stop moving to the place where it didn’t matter.  Thank you for what you’ve given us.  Copyright 2012 Shanyn Silinski

 

Linking up with dVerse today…won’t you join us?

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40 Comments

  1. Pam M. said,

    February 16, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Another beautiful piece of poetry to make me smile, tear up and sigh. My favorite stories as a child growing up were about women much like your great grandmothers. All of those amazingly courageous pioneer women, no matter what their color or heritage.

    Thank you again for always sending a bit of God’s beauty my way, Shanyn!!!

    Grace & peace,
    Pam

    • shanyns said,

      February 17, 2012 at 12:06 am

      Pam – thank you so much for coming by and for the wonderful encouraging comment! Very much a blessing!

  2. February 16, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    A stunningly beautiful write, Shanyn. A wonderful tribute to brave and strong women. Thanks for sharing this story with us!

    This one is much the same, except for the gender: http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/one-hell-of-a-ride-3/

    • shanyns said,

      February 17, 2012 at 12:00 am

      Charles – thanks for sharing, I loved your poem as well. Reminded me of my grandparents! I appreciate your encouraging comment, thanks for coming by.

  3. Chris Wood said,

    February 16, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Shanyn, My grandmother encouraged me to love God first and my grandfather to pay myself first! Two wonderful life lessons from two of the most important people in my life certainly! Wonderful memories for you and a beautiful word picture for us!

    • shanyns said,

      February 16, 2012 at 11:56 pm

      Chris – That is amazing that they taught you that. What timeless wisdom. Thanks so much for sharing and for coming by.

  4. wolfsrosebud said,

    February 16, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    beautiful retelling of your heritage… a keepsake for sure

    • shanyns said,

      February 16, 2012 at 11:55 pm

      Thank you so much! I heard about her from my Grandpa and my other strong women ancestors from other family stories. It always humbles me to know what they did with so little so long ago.

    • shanyns said,

      February 16, 2012 at 11:58 pm

      Thank you so much, great of you to come by and read.

  5. brian miller said,

    February 16, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    that is an awesome story…it def took strong women to be able to survive the prairie…def a great tribute to your great gramma…bet it was neat to hear the stories passed down as well…

  6. zongrik said,

    February 16, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    your great grandma sounds really cool

    • shanyns said,

      February 16, 2012 at 11:57 pm

      Thanks from what I remember she and her mother were very cool…

  7. February 17, 2012 at 12:20 am

    She sounds as if she was a true pioneer. They had to be strong back then too. A lovely tribute not just to your ancestors but, too all the other women just like them back then too.
    Lovely.

    • shanyns said,

      February 17, 2012 at 12:22 am

      Thank you, and thank you for coming by. She was an adventurous and courageous woman. Women like her paved the way for women today, even if they don’t know it.

  8. butterflybiblestudies said,

    February 17, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Love reading your poetry Shanyn! Pam Mosher

    • shanyns said,

      February 17, 2012 at 12:42 am

      Pam – thank you so much! Lovely to see you here and thanks for the encouragement!

  9. February 17, 2012 at 12:53 am

    can’t image what it must be like- must have been TOUGH- but what an inspiration- and to know that you have her blood flowing through our veins? that has got to be some comfort

    • shanyns said,

      February 17, 2012 at 1:07 am

      It is a comfort and a responsibility as well to never forget that legacy. It amazes me what all those women went through, and did for their families. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. February 17, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Brilliant… how much do we owe these strong women, who just did what had to be done. Toting a pistol and carrying their babies… Wow! A great piece of your family history, thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

    • shanyns said,

      February 17, 2012 at 1:28 am

      Thanks for coming by, and yes we owe more than we could ever guess! She rode side saddle so much her wedding dress had to be custom made to fit, and she never got bucked off…even when she lost all her hair pins. She could and did shoot too! Tough lady and I love that piece of my history.

  11. Laurie Kolp said,

    February 17, 2012 at 1:16 am

    I love the image of her riding in sidesaddle with pistol and babe. Great tribute, Shanyns!

    • shanyns said,

      February 17, 2012 at 1:28 am

      Thanks Laurie! She was amazing, and yet if you had been able to ask her she would have shrugged and said you do what you have to do.

  12. angelique said,

    February 17, 2012 at 1:45 am

    What a beautiful tribute. I love these lines: “She wasn’t alone on these prairies you know. She had sisters from edge to edge, age to age.” You made me think of all the women in my line, holding hands, stretching back into history…

    • shanyns said,

      February 17, 2012 at 2:18 am

      Angelique, I see them that way too! A long line of women holding hands from history to present, making us stronger for who they were and giving us something special – their legacy! Thank you so much for the comment and for coming by.

  13. Chazzy Chazz said,

    February 17, 2012 at 2:19 am

    This so wonderful, because it reminds us of those people who endured the pain and trial that made the land great. I’m reminded of the beautiful courageous women in my own life, and I think they would’ve been gratified to bear such words in their honor.

    • shanyns said,

      February 17, 2012 at 4:04 am

      Thank you for this wonderful comment…and I agree totally. Great that you stopped by, so glad you enjoyed the poem.

  14. ManicDdaily said,

    February 17, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Wonderful grandmothers! K.

  15. February 17, 2012 at 3:51 am

    Such strong foremothers we had! In addition to the poem, I really enjoyed your notes, Shanyns.

    • shanyns said,

      February 17, 2012 at 4:06 am

      Victoria – thank you so much! I appreciate you noticed the notes and am so glad you enjoyed the poem. Great to see you here!

  16. Maiya said,

    February 17, 2012 at 4:24 am

    Wonderful!

  17. claudia said,

    February 17, 2012 at 5:22 am

    i have so much respect for what your grandmother and all these brave men and women did…walking the untrodden path…and making a way for many… Their story is one of blood, tears, grief and joy for sure and yours was a wonderful write

    • shanyns said,

      February 17, 2012 at 5:27 am

      Claudia – thank you so much! I respect them and their paths as well…they sure made it possible for us to be here, doing what we wish to do. Thanks for coming by.

  18. David King said,

    February 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    A story to inspire and exceptionally well told.

    • shanyns said,

      February 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      David – thank you so very much! Great that you stopped by.

  19. zongrik said,

    February 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    great tribute

    pedestal ivory goddess

  20. Mama Zen said,

    February 18, 2012 at 2:08 am

    “Some rode free, some dug deep, all fought hard.”

    Yes!

    • shanyns said,

      February 18, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      Mama Zen – thanks! For coming by and reading…great to see you.


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