Crystal with her grandmother Wanda

‘For Wanda’ Kicks Off Celebration of Poetry Month


Poetry For Wanda

My idea of woman, that all encompassing enigma of strength and beauty is formed largely in her image.
She is tall and fierce.
She is draped in a soft purple sweater, but commands respect with the strong arc of her shoulders, knowing smile in her eyes.
Her laugh is easy and quick, reminds you she knows who she is, is not afraid to share.
You know just by shaking her hand that she is aware of her worth in the world.
Her welcoming embrace emanates comfort and stability.
She is a warm and solid presence.
She wears grey pigtails and coveralls like some women wear silk.
Her home is all yarn and fresh baked bread, clutter and hidden treasures.
She picks fresh peas and ripe strawberries from the garden tended by tough, tender hands.
She is educated, because she chooses to be, in the arts and trades she can take pride in.
Hers is the voice you hear when you doubt yourself.
It urges you on, reminds you the importance of being independently capable.
You will never understand, but always want to, how she managed to run a dairy farm while wrangling three boys.
How she managed it all with enough grace that those three boys grew up to be three men who would move the earth for her.
She lives willfully, with unmistakable force and dexterity.
She reminds you that you are part of a string of strong and beautiful enigmas.
You are a thread in a sturdy yarn of women who have loved and lived with purpose.
You are reminded every time you put pen to paper that you share your love of writing with her mother.
When people ask, it is she who is your hero.
She is Grandmother, mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend; the good witch.
She is unmistakably, inexplicably, all encompassing

~Crystal Oberholtzer

Editor’s Note: In recognition of National Poetry Month, “For Wanda” is the first installment of poetry by, for, and about women. If you have a favorite poem you’d like to share please contact us at Original submissions are encouraged!

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