Peace Train 1995--From Helsinki to Beijing


by Mary O'Hara Wyman

Thoughts turn around like the wheels of the Peace Train
Towards the women who ride and towards the women who wait,
and the women back home and the women long gone,
towards the women not born, and the women who fear,
and the women who dare and the holy women of prayer.
Here we are, here in Helsinki, free to be who we are
And there they wait for us, in places with fairytale names--
St. Petersburg and Kiev, Bucharest and Sophia, Istanbul and Odessa,
Alma Alta and Urumchi, and that most forbidden city, Peking.
In all those cities they wait for our train, the women we'll meet
Afraid for us to come, afraid that we'll not--
and together we're longing, belonging--hello-ing, good-bying--
with one long sighing--eying the distant horizon of Peace.
I think we are women with far too much
And they are women with never ever enough
And we are women allowed to fly through the air
And they are women coerced to the earth.
I pray for the women who feel hopeless
For I must be hopeful for them, and yes I can pray
for the women who cannot act on their own
And I will, yes I will, be their activist.
Let us all be women who must do what we must
To give hope to the women who must struggle for peace.
We are the women who must find peace from within
And model this peace to the world without.
Wheels keep rolling rolling rolling in my heart
My reverie expands to visions of joy--to women of hope....
Let us be mothers and lovers, to sisters of colors
To Asians, Australians, the Africans, the Indians, and
Europeans and Americans, all all sisters sisters linked by blood linked by birth, linked by pain, linked by plan, linked divine
To women who wait for the train by the side of the track.
I too have a dream...of all women in the world on the Train--
all all of us, Peace Pilgrims
All, all all of us--the mothers and daughters and sisters
dead and alive, and as yet unborn
All Planetary Pilgrims on the Peace Train forever.

(A Peace train, organized by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, carried some 100 women activists from Helsinki through countries of the former USSR to the 1995 UN women's conference in Beijing.)

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