All through my youth and formative years
The lore of the attic drew curiosity and fears

With a childhood couched in caution and timidity
An adventure discovering its wonders held no reality

 Even exploring holding on to mother’s apron ties
The musty attic held phantoms and prying eyes

 My faintheartedness belied tales of family bravery
 Would I ever resolve this illogical fear inside of me

Time marches on you leave childhood behind
Still confidence and life’s meaning I hunger to find

Mother has passed, the old house with its legacy is mine
It has been years since I visited that place in time

The emergence of daring to face my own destiny
Had me climbing the attic stairwell breathlessly

I was primed to conquer fear and put it to rest
Knowing my resolve would surely be put to the test

The view from the top of the stairs as I gazed around
Was inviting not dreadful as I thought would be found

The daylight streaming through created a glittering path
To the object of my vexing childhood anxiety and wrath

 That full length gothic mirror tarnished and silvered with age
Was the source of my adolescent terror and irrational rage

 Bygone images ironically had the mirror beckoning me
Curiosity prevented turning around to escape and flee
As if awaiting my arrival on this momentous day
The mirror showed an assembly of women from away

I pondered the images as far as my eyes could see
The ascension of the generations that came before me

 It was like stepping through a time warp into the past
As forbearers revealed the wisdom they had amassed

 A resolute warrior protecting hearth and family
She wielded a sword while nurturing a babe at knee

The stalwart pioneer sweat on brow and plow in hand

Worked relentlessly farming and cultivating the land

 A suffragette protesting and fighting for equality
Her determination secured the vote for you and me

They were trailblazers reflecting courage and bravery
Heroines and leaders and survivors of slavery

Remarkable women embodying passion and drive
Doing what was necessary to succeed and survive

There were strong women rising year after year
Images of valor and insight I shall always hold dear

Viewing this force of women as far as you could see
Recognizing their powerful bond through eternity

Forward looking women who help others to succeed
Inspiring, educating and supporting to fulfill a need

 They are the descendants who forged our history
Their significance in our lifetimes no longer a mystery

There is a life changing moment of enlightenment
When you find your voice and empowerment

We are a sisterhood, an alliance to defend and inspire
Encouraging our strength and lighting our fire

Your reflection in the looking glass will empower you
Your eyes mirror your soul and reflect what you can do

Let curiosity and wonder of adventure negate fear
Be open to worldly messages found everywhere

Find your true self and embrace every possibility
It’s your own uniqueness that will set you free

Sometimes it’s not easy to be confident and strong
You have the support of others to help you along

As time moves on be ready to take your special place
Joining other women exemplifying wisdom and grace

The silvered mirror shows the next generation to ascend
To be embraced and guided as a cherished friend

Watch over loved ones as your family legend dictates
 Encourage through triumphs and even mistakes

This sacred matriarchal heritage will be carried on
In a continuum with each sunset and new dawn

Barbara Feltquate
In loving memory of all those women
 who came before and who will follow