Pioneers, First Women in Construction

By Susan Eisenberg

Her sister was shot, and hers found bludgeoned
dead in her car trunk; her mother was alcoholic,
and hers a suicide; her daughter killed by an uncle,
and hers stayed alive thanks to prison.
Before the term, date-raped, she was. Before
domestic violence, love punched her face.

We wanted the career. Not just skills and money,
but structure, focus, printed plans, the rowdy order
of raising buildings that years later would still stand
right where you left them. We joined a tradition,
expected a well-marked path and a welcome.
The earnest ads never mentioned

we’d be human minesweepers steering around
barricades, sinkholes, lethal instructions, We learned
Solidarity was a corporation privately held.
Some left in shock. Some were maimed.
Some went missing. A few found gold.

Those with talent for sifting real threat from bluff,
or detecting hair-triggers before the blast, fared best,
We taught ourselves to disarm booby traps, shared
hand-drawn maps, and prepared for a long winter.
We lied on postcards home.

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A.ward X Loso: It's Ok To Not Be Ok (Spoken Word)

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Pick Me Up Poetry seeks to be an agent of change in society by fostering cross-cultural dialogue and providing much-needed information and representation for writers and performers. We offer our followers insightful glimpses into cultures around the globe through various mediums including our online articles, poetry collections, spoken-word videos and more. 

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