To the Women

To the Women

To all the women

in every region of the world,

in every country,

in every city and small town,

I hold you in my thoughts today

and celebrate your identity

and stand with you

in a sisterhood

that knows no bounds…

To the Ukrainian women

holding children and pets

in underground bunkers

and to your women

fighting on the frontlines of war,

I honor you…

To the Russian women

protesting and begging

for an unjust war to end

and who long to see

your sons back home,

I honor you…

To the Polish women

offering homes and hope

and who leave supplies

within reach

and who rock babies

that are not yours

so that another mother

can rest and breathe,

I honor you…

To women who are transgender

and who long to be recognized

and must fight for your rights

and who lose those close to you

because they choose to walk away,

but who build chosen families anyway,

I honor you…

To women who have survived

violence in your homes

and fled from abuse from those

who were supposed to love you,

and to the women still

trapped in unsafe homes,

I honor you…

To the Black women fighting racism

and raising sons and daughters

in this broken world

where people judge you

by the color of your skin,

I honor you…

To the women around the world

in poverty who struggle every day

to find food and shelter,

clean water and clean clothes

and who carry worry with you,

I honor you…

To refugees seeking hope

and who crave safety

and who walk through the unknown

to recreate what is known,

I honor you…

To the Mama Bears

creating safe spaces for your children,

who know that love is love

and who know that all people

regardless of gender or sexual identity

are worthy, 

who build communities for nonbinary, transgender, 

lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning family members

and who extend your love to others, 

I honor you… 

To all women who take a stand

for what is right and just,

who offer love and hope,

who mentor and guide,

who reach out and who teach,

to the women who climb ladders

and help others climb with you,

who give back

and bring change

and offer hope

and hugs and love,

who hold hands

and touch hearts,

I honor you…

I celebrate our

diverse faiths

and races

and faces,

I celebrate

our dreams

and our successes,

I see our struggles,

I honor our journeys,

I honor you.

–Chris Pepple ©2022

A Poem: Anyway

Anyway

When I felt broken

and invisible and was dismayed, 

you reached out anyway. 

I have no words to ever repay, 

but I will say thank you

to the one who loved me anyway…

the one who saw me through,

and believed in me

and believed me

and saw me

and reached out your hand

and held on

and embodied grace and love

and spoke louder than the pain

and refused to fear my scars

and refused to chatter away

with the gossipers erasing truth

and constructing tales that fit

their life’s narrative rather than mine

Thank you…

to the one who loved me anyway.

When we feel broken,

love anyway.

–Chris Pepple ©2022