A Poem about Bella: “Under the Big Hat”

A Poem about Bella: “Under the Big Hat”

by Claire Reed

©Linda Stein

flamboyant, Bella strides,
stumps, marches, a lightening rod,
raucous, rallying the troops,

fierce, intense, prodding hard,
under the big hat, an inner spirit reigns,
exhilerated by music, by songs,

stroked by Nature’s magnificence,
by mountain, sea and plains,
embracing family, friends,

pleads for peace, fights resists war,
under the big hat, a legend,
an icon, whom we applaud,

a serious woman on a serious voyage,
defining truth and power,
our Mother Courage.

April 14, 2010

Claire Reed spent the major part of her life in the political realm, including work for SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and Women Strike for Peace. In the 1960s and 70s, she worked on political campaigns and when Bella Abzug (1920-1998) was elected to Congress in 1971, she became a member of her New York City staff. In the past several years Reed has concentrated on writing fiction and poetry.

Also see “Aung San Suu Kyi Acts on Love, A Poem” by Maureen McNeil in this edition of On The Issues Magazine.

See “Wonder Woman: A Comic Book Character Shows the Way” by Linda Stein in this edition of On The Issues Magazine.


Merle Hoffman's Choices: A Post-Roe Abortion Rights Manifesto

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“Merle Hoffman has always known that in a democracy, we each have decision-making power over the fate of our own bodies. She is a national hero for us all.” ​—Gloria Steinem

In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe V. Wade and a country divided, a pioneer in the pro-choice movement and women’s healthcare offers an unapologetic and authoritative take on abortion—“the front line and the bottom line of women’s freedom and liberty.”

Merle Hoffman has been at the forefront of the reproductive freedom movement since the 1970s. Three years before the Supreme Court legalized abortion through Roe v. Wade, she helped to establish one of the United States’ first abortion centers in Flushing, Queens, and later went on to found Choices, one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive women’s medical facilities. For the last five decades, Hoffman has been a steadfast warrior and fierce advocate for every woman’s right to choose when and whether or not to be a mother.