An Ode to Appalachian Women

We are the mothers of the mountains

We are the women of the wilderness

We call the mysterious hills and hollers home

We are the remnants of the old world dream

We still speak the language of those who sacrificed for freedom

We are the carriers of ancient wisdom

We are the agents of our family name

We are the purveyors of our past

We carry the spirit of our ancestors

We are raised by a village of tough love and humility

We don’t complain over inconveniences

We are strong because we have to be

We are the bodies of those who struggled before us

We are the struggling bodies of today

We quietly bear the brunt of life for sake of family

We are the unwilling faces of scarcity

We have felt the sting of stereotype

We are victims to fates unfair

We have shivered in cold winter houses and sweltered through Indian summers

We commune with Mother Nature and speak her language

We are privileged to the secret splendor of the seasons

We learn early on that death is closer than kin

We are the ones who must grow up fast

We understand that life is never easy nor is it a given

We sow the field and tend the livestock

We are the daughters of those who toil within the Earth

We are no stranger to the tired muscle and calloused hand

We protect our families and what is rightfully ours

We have seen the worst of humanity and we have seen miracles unfold

We believe in community and help those in need

We know the taste of homegrown and the feel of homemade

We grow in the warmth of the wood stove

We are the managers of the hearth

We are no strangers to dirt and grime

We roll our sleeves to get the work done

                        We can do it without you


We are self-sufficient

We are stubborn

We are proud

We are loyal to our cause

We remember our family

We are many

We are fighters

We are Appalachian Women

Lily Watermark


©K. Martin-Gross 2018

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