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Ceiling Plan

—for Lois Taylor

“Lady and gentlemen, welcome.”

One     woman     among two hundred men.
I imagine     her looking up at the glass ceiling,
That blocked my     mother and my     aunts.
She conceived of a plan to take it down.
The chief engineer hired     her, made     her his ghost
Writer.      She pored over the carriers’ schematics,
The operational plans for the Navy’s nuclear subs,
Wrote out procedures for the equipment’s
Qualification, the commercial plants, re-translated 
Documents from Chernobyl—
No more word was heard from the control room.
It gave me shivers working on that thing—

Spoke the language of men, perhaps better than them.
I imagine     she saw the hardware that
Fastened the glass to the ceiling.     She
Reached up with     her tools and removed the panes, climbed a ladder,
And stood up in a room where     she saw my mother.

“Welcome, ladies. Let’s get to work.”

©2020 by Peter Buck