I am the dust on the mantle, the sepia steely-eyed matron.
I am the memory of Committee Presidents, the name on Honour Boards,
saluting legends, leaving legacies.
The plaque in the park.
The bequest to a town.
The clipboard ticking Mistress who would not let them down.
I am the pioneer, the scrutineer, the woman who cajoled and campaigned, who whined and whipped them into shape.
I am the Lady of The Coast who bossed the blokes;
“Now see here, now look here, now we’re here!”.
I am the woman who marched from kitchen to committee table,
who saw what mattered, what must be done. What will be done.
I put my best foot forward, dug my clipped nails in,
sucked my courage into my girdle with no time to check that shoes matched skirt.
I raised my suburban voice so that the dust on mantles would not settle without a good community shake-up.
I am the woman who watches you build upon the foundations that I laid out long ago.
This is my voice