I watched a river of women,
Rippling purple, white and golden,
Stream toward the National Capitol.
Along its border,
Like a purple flower floating,
Moved a young woman, worn, wraithlike.
All eyes alight, keenly observing the marchers.
Out there on the curb, she looked so little, so lonely,
Few appeared even to see her;
No one saluted her.
Yet commander was she of the column, its leader;
She was the spring whence arose that irresistible river of women
Streaming steadily towards the National Capitol.
Originally published in The Suffragist. This poem is in the public domain.
Katharine Rolston Fisher
Katharine Rolston Fisher was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, on October 20, 1871. A suffrage activist and writer, she is thought to have been brought on as an assistant editor of The Suffragist in 1915. She was arrested for picketing for voting rights in 1917 and was sentenced to thirty days in the Occoquan workhouse. Fisher also worked as the recording secretary of the Washington, D.C. branch of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage; as a government clerk at the Suffragist House; and at the U.S. War Risk Bureau. She died in Westborough, Massachusetts, on January 1, 1950.
Date Published: 2019-12-15
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/alice-paul