Career Options for Girls


My wire-cutter tenacious Italian grandmother
graduated high school,
worked for Philly Customs.

My Scottish great-aunt
played basketball men’s rules.

My enormous Russian great-aunt
made kigl, kept kosher,
but ate chipped beef out.

My only child mother
taught English in a Vo-Tech school,
did headstands at home.

One of my sisters designs circuits.
One restores damaged hands.
One cuts and arranges photos.
One books trips.


I spent my high school days carefully rolling
scoring slipping glazing firing
my sex
comparing myself with some satisfaction
to fat models in drawing class
with however some despair
to Jeanne
our laconic catcher
who brushed straight hair away from her eyes
and squinted smiling into the sun
arrow and strong bow
in one body


I went out at night with my girlfriend
and we played round danced

and some guy tsked and asked me,
“Why don’t you let HIM pay?”

I laughed.  We laughed danced
left separately.
I saw her rev her bike alone,
move through the intense black rain,
turn the corner,
and pick up speed.