Once upon a troubled time, along life’s bumpy road,
A woman found herself alone, beside a heavy load.
Burdens tossed, abandoned; she stood in disbelief
And for a moment, dropped her head and sobbed amid her grief.
But tears, she learned, did nothing to make the burden light
And so she reached, and grabbed the burden – tugged with all her might.
It barely moved, she didn’t have the strength that it would take
To carry such a burden; there was so much at stake.
“What do I do?” she whispered, peering through the mist
But alas, no one appeared. She was alone in this.
“Chin up, jaw firm, eyes ahead!” This chant became her theme,
And suddenly the load was not as heavy, so it seemed.
She put her back beneath the weight, and slowly then, it moved
And she began to walk along. Her own strength she proved.
With every step, her strength improved, and she began to smile
Her confidence began to grow with every passing mile.
The brilliant sunshine warmed her face, then faded into night
But she kept walking, knowing with the dawn, there’d be more light.
The night was long and very dark, and danger lurked nearby
The woman kept on walking, scared to death but head held high.
The storm would come, the wind would blow, and whip the load around
Sometimes she cried and yelled aloud; sometimes she made no sound.
And all the while the strength that once was too hard to obtain
Grew and grew and she stood taller, strong beneath the strain.
The road could be so merciless, sometimes a storm’s attack
Added to the burden that she carried on her back.
Another weight, another task, a trial to be borne
She cried and staggered, almost falling, discouraged and forlorn.
“But wait,” she said, remembering, “I’ve walked this road a while,
And I have gained a lot of muscle, along each grueling mile.”
And so she put her back again, against the load she bore,
And much to her surprise, it lifted, easier than before.
The days wore into weeks and months and soon, when troubles came
She would eye the trouble, smiling, “Are we doing this again?”
Travelers who met her, as they journeyed on her path,
Would say, “How do you do that?” and she would simply laugh.
“I want to say I do not know but that would not be true.
I simply keep on walking, just the way you do.”
You might know a woman who seems to be so strong
She didn’t plan to be that way, but then, walking along
She very simply chose to live in joy instead of pain
She may not even think of it too much, unless there’s rain
Or storms, or falls, or bruises, but just as she’s done before
She’ll stagger, gain her balance, and carry on once more.
In her heart, although she’s strong, she’s still so much a girl
Strong girls bring the best of strength and sweetness to the world.
So if you are a strong girl friend, I know you understand.
If you know one, you don’t have to ask to lend a hand.
Just pray for happy traveling, and a mostly sunny sky.
And if you like, snap a salute when she goes marching by.
~ Alane Roberts