The Girls in Steno, 1970 by Donal Mahoney

FH020017
When it’s break time
the girls all walk together,
cigarette-protector cases
clasped between their index
 
tapers and their thumbs.
On each girl’s fingers glow
iridescent lacquers.
When break time nears,
 
they peek at each other,
twinkle, giggle, nod.
When break time comes,
a bell rings and the girls rise
 
like Lazarus. High on heels
they click in couples down the hall
to fill an elevator.
They get off at One. There
 
they float across the cafeteria,
men everywhere,
eyes everywhere.
(Is he the one?)
 
When a new girl’s hired
the old girls
put her to the test:
Will she join them
 
for the coffee break?
If she does, she joins them forever,
even after she marries,
retires or expires.
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Nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, Donal Mahoney has had poetry and fiction published in various publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his earliest work can be found at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com
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I thought this was a great poem about women.  The Subject Line of the email submission caught my eye:

How it was before Hillary and Women’s Independence Day

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