Dedicated to Kate Mulgrew, for her portrayal of Kathryn Janeway
Captain Kathryn had a nice ring to it,
not the kind you usually associate with a woman.
No diamonds or cute velvet boxes for this redhead.
on a command uniform,
brushing away the use of Ma’am or Sir as irrelevant.
You made me question
why gender or protocol should matter.
You insisted on the rank you’d earned,
Which lit a flame of desire in me
for letters and titles.
Who would care about Miss, Ms or Mrs
When the tags on the end of my name
read Ba, Ma, PGCE?
you strode across my horizon and my TV screen,
Uniting rivals, friends and enemies in one crew,
Under a banner of ‘I say so’
Light years from any patriarchal enforcement of law.
You used a mother’s authority,
Wielded compromise as a strength,
Insisted that the ends
did not always justify the means.
You made me see life as a journey,
not a destination,
Self-conduct and integrity as important
as the End Game.
I keep your photo on my wall,
Reminding me where the future of woman kind is headed.
To boldly go where no one,
where no man,
has gone before.