But She Still: A poem

(Photo credit: Danielle Smith, art director, Partners + Napier)
(Photo credit: Danielle Smith, art director, Partners + Napier)

In this poem, Sarah Collins, copywriter at Partners + Napier, encapsulates how women have always pushed through obstacles — and calls for future generations to rise and do the same.

Rationale 

When we speak of women’s history and empowerment, the focus is often on what women haven’t been able to do instead of how they did it anyway. Yes — there will always be oppression and obstacles, yet women have always made a way because we are the way. 

Drawing inspiration from the unstoppable Mother Nature and the inevitability of celestial events, this poem looks to the women who came before so that we could become. The last line echoes their legacy, a call for this and future generations to rise, regardless. 

But She Still 

Sarah Collins

But her words still speak when silenced. 

When numbed by the noise or drowned by the proud. 

Her seat stands up to the sun-downers 

without fearing what may fall. 

She still chooses when the choice is made. 

When the cards are laid on the table. 

When the stars won’t align. 

When her dignity is redefined. 

When the waves won’t break. 

When giving only takes. 

When the winds of change are nothing more than hot air. 

And the work to be done outweighs the willing hands to do it. 

But what about the bias?! 

And the barriers?! 

And the glass ceilings and the dead ends?! 

And all the “isms?!” 

And divisions and systems?! 

Even if they stop the dawn, 

strip the tide, 

or rip the moon off its throne 

so that night never comes, 

she still arrives. 

And she won’t apologize. 

Or ask for permission. 

Or wait for approval, recognition or praise. 

Daughter of the day, aren’t you ready to rise? 

Sarah Collins is a copywriter at Partners + Napier.

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