The 2004 Missourian Award Plaque given on behalf of Hannah Cole
Proclamation, Medallion, and Booklet for the 2004 Missourian Award
written by Laura Beth Cooper
They say you have no face
We’ll have to look at photographs of your children
To discover who you are – yet I know your face
The shadow of your countenance river woman!
The strong outline of the chin – fixed in staunch solitude
As you stand on the banks of the Missouri.
The wind drives lines into your face, and you smile – The water reflects happiness back to you
And your eyes dance with excitement.
It is your river to build on; cross over and fish in – Until the natives come and you defend her banks
As your eyes fill with fear of the unknown river woman – And your face grows stronger and more clear!
See the wind blow your hair and fill your eyes with pride
About what is yet to come on her bluffs.
The farmers, the brick layer of the city’s streets
Old houses on shady lanes – The Missouri painter, the railroad worker,
The bread baker, the Kemper soldier, the writer,
The store clerk, the seamstress and Boonville blossoms.
We all know your face river woman!
I saw it in my grandmother’s determined look
My mother’s carrying ways
Each morning it is reflected back to me in a mirror
And behind me stands my son with his Cole ways.
Your face is ours – this city chiseled from the dreams of your countenance.
We are proud and fearless as the water runs past us and the blood through our veins.
And on this day, on her very banks
Show us that face river woman that we already know – Smile upon us pioneer woman, frontier settler, river woman – Hannah Cole!