Challenge from Allison Berryhill:  Write a 20 Questions Poem


                       Happy Birthday to the Lady with the Alligator Purse

Could the doctor have known the footprint of the newborn he delivered on 2/15/1820 would forever change the world?
Could your mother have known that the tiny hand of her newborn daughter would be writing at 3?

How long did birthday cake last on a Quaker farm, with six siblings?

Was your famous red shawl a birthday gift?

Or was the “Vote! Said the Lady with the Alligator Purse” purse an iconic present?

Did you have to pinch yourself to fathom an annual teacher’s salary of $110 for those ten years – or did it seem a rich blessing compared to the greater injustices you saw?

Should we thank the Sons of Temperance for your fiery passion to speak?

Did they know they messed with the wrong girl when they told you to, “Sit Down, Listen, and Learn?”

Did they know the firestorm they started in you would ignite the hidden sparks of a raging force?

When you got arrested and fined $10 less than your annual teacher’s salary, did you laugh at the symbolism of those “handcuffs?”

When Congress told you NO every.single.year. from 1869-1906 but you kept asking, did you know you taught us that “failure is impossible?”

Were you there in spirit, wearing a pink hat and marching alongside us in the streets, chanting: “”

Did you really not smile because you thought people wouldn’t take you seriously??!

Did God bring out a heavenly birthday cake 14 years after you arrived, when the 19th passed and bore your name?

Do you know we started carrying your image in our pockets in 1979 when you became the first woman to grace US currency?

Did you know that the sisterhood stands in line for hours on Election Day to cover your gravestone with their “I Voted” stickers?

Do you know how much we appreciate you, more now than ever, 200 years later?

Is there cake in heaven today, and will you save all of us a piece for when we get there?

Are you here with us in spirit today with your alligator purse, wearing a pink hat and a red shawl and eating cake, celebrating with all who proudly cast a big vote for the happiest heavenly birthday for our sister Susan?

Or did I already ask that?

-Kim Johnson

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