I could have been Martha Gellhorn, and traveled into the face of war
And pushed into the front, singing and marching and writing.
I could have been her; I could have ridden in tanks and drank whiskey by the double,
Worn pants and mingled with men in comfort, unafraid.
I could have been Amelia Earhart and flown airplanes across the country
Disregarding the possibility of failure and disapproval (it’s not a woman’s place);
Or Isak Dinesen who moved to primitive Africa to grow her coffee beans.
Instead I was a mother and a wife, raising sons and caring for a husband
And believing that my life was a great adventure, though small in its way.
Now I wonder what I could have been, what I could have done, who I might have become.
Would I have had the courage to do as those undaunted women did, and fly in the face
Of convention and the dominance of males?
I want to believe it true, that I, fearless female warrior, could have worn the armor,
Braved the taunts, stood firm in the face of disapproval,
But in my heart I know that I am just a simple woman who wants to write and cook,
Tell stories and watch her sons become men.
No hero, me.
Just a woman, plodding the path worn deep before me;
No honors will attend my name; no young girl will aspire to be me.
Some lives pass in glory; others attain remembrance long after mortality attains its due.
My grave, like thousands of my sisters before me, will not be one visited by throngs, but by the few
Who remember who I was and where I came from , and that I was
No hero, but just a woman
who did the best she knew to do.