Maintenance

The concrete floor has broken up
The mill door requires a repair.

The cylinder’s rod was chipped
It has damaged the inner seal.

The motor was water-logged
It would not go on start-up.

We can replace it
On the next down.

Put up warning flags
To isolate feed-rails.

Keeping guys safe
While working here.

Removing power
Restoring power.

Removing equipment
Replacing equipment.

Preventative maintenance
Scheduled shutdown work.

Mag drill some holes
For new locking pins.

Jack that stuck pin out
From the stubborn clevis.

We will get it done
We are millwrights.

Grease, grit, dirt
Blood, sweat, tears.

We will get it done
Power it back up.

Call electrical
It’s their turn.

Aligned with a laser
Aligned with a dial.

Either way
Aligned.

Put on your PPE
Hard hat, boots, glasses.

Be safe out there
Don’t hurt yourself.

Work consciously
So we can go home.

Particular bolting patterns
Particular torqueing capacities.

Set up permits
To work safely.

Identify the hazards
To be always aware.

Competent, skilled workers
Working skilled trade work.

The steel a by-product
Of the hands that work.

The steel representative
Of the strong employee.

A corporate community
A second family to me.

Working together
Towards a goal.

Excelling in product
Excelling individually.

Engineered drawings
Roadmaps to results.

Engineered drawings
Read by you and I.

Engineered for efficiency
Designed not to fail.

But it fails
So we work.

Technology has improved
Technology isn’t perfect.

Technology cannot replace
Our intricate finger moves.

So we become skilled
In fixing the equipment.

Designed never to fail
But it fails, so we work.

Skilled trade work has taught me
That we are all capable of learning.

Skills from our fasteners
To power tools and more.

When I weld these days
I remember the past me.

I was naïve, timid and fearful
Before developing confidence.

Before taking a chance on me
Discovering that I could, too.

So if you’re wondering
Please know that you can.

Because I did
A petite woman.

Working a man’s job
Alongside the men.

Give yourself a chance
Discover skilled trade work.

You may just discover
Who you really are.

Kaila A. Notto

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