Shattered Glass Ceiling

[Landscape view is recommended on a mobile device]

I look up from my work.
Steel girders far and wide. So far away.
I appreciate the open space.
I cannot imagine being so high.
To climb in the rafters.
A warehouse. Far different than my cubicle.

I walk the catwalk. Not a model.
My gait has purpose. Fierce but not for display.
Steel grid supports my weight.
Quite high yet midway.
Nothing but steel and air to the concrete below.
I recall my fear of heights. A memory now.

The fear of heights left with other insecurities.
Lost on a breeze as I hiked the foothills of Mount Everest.
My heart was full, no room for fear.
I had been lifted Higher than ever before.

My thoughts return to where I stand now.
Surrounded by concrete and steel.
My heart is content. A meaningful job.
I smile with gratitude. Content.
No longer a glass ceiling above my head.

The end of my shift. Walk the belt.
Ensure every package is on it’s way.
A new adventure. An additional skill.
Qualifications no longer need a resume.

I follow the girl leading the way.
Sisters among brothers.
Genders mix without a gap in our value.
United. Up we climb.

The idle conveyor below my feet. We ascend.
Upward. Like the gradual incline of Annapurna.
A steel cable slides through the palm of my glove.
I recall the place I overcame apprehension.
A footbridge. Suspended so high.
Connecting communities with steel cables.
I smile and thank God my fear is gone.

We reach the crest of the conveyor.
Level plateau before we descend.
New perspective of my workplace below.
Square brown trucks aligned in tight rows.
Each box has a plexiglass roof.
The daylight comes in. No glass ceiling.

A few feet above my head. Steel beams.
The same industrial ceiling.
Appreciated from the ground below.
A few hours later. Now in my reach. I smile.

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