ac·tiv·ist /ˈæktəvɪst [ak-tuh-vist]
1.an especially active, vigorous advocate of a cause, esp. a political cause.
The aging activist knows she'll meet new people,
And, sadly, lose some old friends.
She'll know she is being true to what she believes,
When she gets kicked in the gut,
And still feels the same way about her cause.
She learns that people who would share a lunch with her,
Won't carry a sign with her,
Won't touch her with a ten-foot pole.
That the people who call her strident and angry,
And think of themselves as kind and caring,
Can be sweetly vicious and sly,
Can be self-righteous in duplicity,
And those for whom she struggles,
Often don't appreciate her sacrifice,
And turn away so they won't see her battle scars.
She learns that the ones she once saw as abrasive,
Have kind hearts and strong minds.
She has long decided that being liked,
Isn't worth the cost to her conscience.
She sees the end of life in terms of a decade or two or three, if she's lucky,
No longer assumes the invulnerability of youth,
Wonders where the years went,
Wonders what made life and people change so drastically.
She grows wise in the realities and risks,
And will be satisfied in sowing the seeds,
Even if she can't help reap the harvest.
She'll know that her emotions are not to be feared,
That her passion is her pride because it is fueled by love and fairness,
And that her cries for justice can be heard, by someone, eventually.
She's learned not to judge her insides by the outsides of others.
She'll put on her bright, flowered blouse,
Rinse her hair with Silver Fox,
Put her teeth in, pick her sign up and get back out there.
For there's a message to send and a hope to have,
For her daughters and her daughters' daughters.
A hope that there will never be a time for them,
To suffer the pain, that made her an activist.
That being a mother will carry honor,
And that a child will never wonder where Mommy went.
Robin K. Westbrook (c)