Baub Bidon wrote the poem, "Edie," for Edie Fishman on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Bidon performed the poem (see below) at her party, which was attended by sixty people including elected officials, union leaders, Young Communist League and Communist Party comrades from Connecticut and New Jersey.
Edie was born on July 22, 1921 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of immigrants. She joined the Young Communist League at age 14 during the height of the Great Depression. She remains an active member and leader of the Communist Party to this day. She was a "Rosie the Riveter," working in the shipyard in Camden, New Jersey during WW II. Her recollections are represented in the Rosie the Riveter National Historical Park in California. She later completed her education and became a high school art teacher in New Jersey. She also received a congressional citation for her work with her students for peace. She received over 5,000 votes as a candidate for Freeholder. She and George, her husband of 67 years until his passing in 2009, moved to New Haven's Wooster Square neighborhood in 1995. Edie carries on their lifelong commitment and contribution to equality, peace and social justice.
By Baub Bidon
Her sincere eyes smile at the rivers of
people holding hands to the union of one song
we are the union, the mighty mighty union...
no justice! no peace!
no justice! no peace!
Her peaceful feet marched out the belly of nineteen-twenty-one,
born to rally, she organized, helped to unionize for social change,
changing the conditions of yesterday,
to make our fight today a bit more easier,
she ought to know, how far her ripples in those puddles flowed
the storm in her sneakers shouted loud in New York
to end the war in Iraq, and bring the troops back
she... did that
fighting for the rights of the working class
si se puede
and yes we did
You beautiful sun flower of a woman
Budding hope from your womb
Giving birth to revolution
You are the move in our movement
Humble enough to not want this poem to be about you
But the truth is... had there been an absence of you
There would be no Joelle,
no Weekly World,
no Amina Baraka at the Peoples Center,
no me passing a letter, to recite poetry
no New Haven YCL
no free 2 spit
your fight was worth the struggle
that makes this poem relevant
so sit back and enjoy the ride like freedom
like Selma's passion
at a Montgomery speech
or the walk on Washington...
Like the sit ins
Brown versus the board of education
like Ruby Bridges escorted to her classroom
with police bodyguards
the first person of color integrated into the curriculum
justice for Sacco and Vanzetti
like free the Cuban 5
and hands off Assata
sit back and enjoy your smile
...enjoy it like we do
pat yourself on the back
to let that sun shine from your eyes
who we are... so we tell them
no justice, no peace
no racist police
let freedom ring, let freedom ring
thank God all mighty, we are free at last
Photo: Edie Fishman, left, with her daughter Joelle.