© 2001 Carl Thomas Gladstone

Girl who was built Ford-tough just collapsed.
Girl who boys feared in the midst of playground politics.
Girl who rolled her sleeves at frilly things.

She was steel forged against steel, like the skyscrapers downtown.
She was rivets and hard hats and caution tape.
But like the steel giants of the city, she too would topple
if the ground shook hard enough, she’d fall.

Girl who was built Ford-tough just collapsed.
She bullied her way home only to be bullied at home.
Her father’s forge working daughter like a horseshoe.

She does not rust and crumble like the bridges down by the river,
year by slow year. She stands instead and strains until the last—
when the silence of her mother’s tears,
and the torrent of her teacher’s words,
and the fires of her father’s hand all conspire to blast away all that is Girl.