by Anna Arnett
Maybe it's because I hear so many sisters talking about entering the Arizona Mother's whatever contest, but more probably because I dug out some things to take to the Retreat up in Washington, where I'm invited (after twisting Liz's arm) to teach a class in poetry. Sometimes I think I'm quite a pro, and at other times, well I just don't know. Anyway, I'm thinking of entering a poem I wrote way back when the Equal Rights Movement was under way, hot, heavy, and controverial. Does it still fit today? Ought I to enter it? Here it is:
JUST A WOMAN
"I'm just a woman," cried a lonely one,
"Can I compete with men in this world of strife?
What have I to offer, how can I obtain the heights
My soul longs for when frustration fills my life?
To her the spirit whispereth, "My daughter, lift your head,
For you are very precious unto me.
The rosebush was not meant to be a tree -- nor you a man --
But each has a special place, now and throughout eternity.
To be a woman is a special gift;
For women have a softening effect on men.
'Tis they inspire culture, bring refinement to the land,
And help make the earth a garden once again.
'Twas just a woman back in Eden's bliss,
Who hungered after knowledge and a better life.
So, when the tempter promised her there was no other way,
She partook the fruit, thus introducing strife.
Was Eve forever afterwards regretful of her choice?
No! She rejoiced in overcoming trials.
And ever since, her gallant daughters, filled with courage strong,
Pass through sorrows armed with fortitude, and Mona Lisa smiles!
When God made women, 'twas a special gift.
Though sometimes they seem frivolous, bejeweled and curled,
Yet they're the wives and mothers upon whom mankind depends,
For those who rear the children guide the world.
'Twas just a woman who in Bethlehem,
Once held a tiny baby to her loving breast;
While angels sang with glory, shepherds bowed and Magi came,
And through Mary's Son the whole wide world was blessed.
Was Mary's life made easy after having given birth?
Was rearing Christ the Lord a simple chore?
Were Mary's thoughts and attitudes reflected in her Son?
Did she feel a deep responsibility through trials sore?
To be a mother is a special gift.
It's challenging, and frightening, delightful, too.
Especially in a partnership where love and trust abound,
And I'm glad that I'm a woman, aren't you?
Anna Laurene Arnett