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ENGAGE . INSPIRE . CONNECT

Sister song

I'm so pleased to share my first guest post written by my mom! I'm grateful to her for sharing her piece and to Sister Song for their ongoing work to improve institutional policies and systems that impact the reproductive lives of marginalized communities.



Sister Song


The invitation had gone out a month earlier to this fundraiser for Sister Song, a

justice collective supporting reproductive health for women in the

American south. With no fanfare, carrying only a guitar and sheet music, my daughter Katy and her friend Roz step into the garden’s evening light, where over thirty women have gathered. An audible ‘ahhhh’ passes through the audience as they begin to sing.


For the next two hours, the two musicians entertain us, singing songs by Gillian Welch, Alison Krauss, and ones they’ve written themselves. “Am I a fool? A fool to believe, you’re gonna come home?” Roz sings. We are swept up by their gentle lyrics, close harmony, and even the sweetness of their banter between songs.

At the intermission, I hear someone ask how they do it. Katy says, “No wires. No amplification. If Roz and I hear each other we stay better connected.”

“Am I a fool? A fool to believe you’re gonna come home?” Roz’s refrain reminds me of my mother, of how much I still miss her. I consider how hard Katy and I too have worked to come home. Tonight, gathered in support of women far away, I consider what I may have missed all these years, in song, in sisterhood, even in presence.

Their finale is “Step Into the Light,” written by Katy and her husband Dave.

“My mom she told me,

Step into the light.

Girl, you’ve been out there such a long, long time….”

Their harmony and sweet sister banter has pointed to a relationship not only with each other, but with all of us, near and far.

“ My mom…she walks with me

As we step into the light…” ‘Music gives life to everything,’ Plato said. In the garden this evening we are all related, even transparent under the spell Roz and Katy have cast on us.


- Barbara Henderson


To read more by Barbara, check out her piece entitled Sweet Longing published in the Bayou magazine (https://bayoumagazine.org/issue-62/)



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