May 27, 2013
I have been writing, but more for classes. I look forward to peaceful days to think. Here is a link for my latest photo prompt poem
May 4, 2013
In a new class I am taking in a Philly neighborhood with Minter Krotzer and Hal Sirowitz we will be studying various forms of poetry and how to take pieces of the work and create new poems. We discussed list poems and had to draft a few, here is my draft of one…
We War’shed Our Clothes
We war’shed our clothes by hand when I was a small child;
and by hand, meaning with a scrub board and in a big round war’sh tub.
We war’shed our clothes
on Saturday’s when my father was gone fishing, if he didn’t take one of us;
it required lots of boiled water from the kitchen,
and each of us would carry full pots across the yard.
We war’shed our clothes in the hot water,
and with an added bar of soap.
We war’shed ourselves in the same bucket,
with the same bar of soap, but on a different day.
We war’shed each piece of clothing on that war’sh board
until all the stains faded.
I still feel the grinding bumps of that war’sh board.
We war’shed our daddy’s clothes first.
We war’shed his work shirts and pants.
We war’shed all those undershirts until the yellow stains turned white,
and Momma would add some bleach for that.
We war’shed his smelly socks last,
because they were little and easier fitting in our small hands,
and they had soaked a bit longer.
We war’shed our kid clothes after his were done;
it was ‘the way’, Momma told us, for each child to go in birth order.
Each of us war’shed the few pieces of clothing we owned.
My brother went first;
then me, sometimes my baby sister’s clothes were already clean,
because Momma had war’shed them with her own during the week; it was then
I wished when we war’shed ourselves in that tub, after my turn, we could’ve thrown
out that baby with the war’sh water.
We war’shed all of them clothes,
and then hung them all on the outside line on sunny days.
They smelled like sunshine, blooming spring flowers, dangling peaches,
and chirping blue birds.
If it rained, we hung the clothes up in the backyard shed,
over daddy’s boat and on any work equipment kept there.
Sometimes the socks would fall into the dirty floor, and we would have to slap
off the leaves and bits of soil tracked in by our feet.
On those days our clothes smelled like gasoline, rusty metal and dying grass.
We war’shed our sheets and towels on Sunday’s,
but only once a month, when the sky was clear, because they dried quickly in the wind.
Then each one of us would run in our few moments of freedom, playing hide and seek and acting
as though it was our perfect white kingdom, clean white walls in each room.
Because back then there were no fences, you could see yard to yard to yard,
war’sh line to war’sh line.
My favorite war’sh day was Sunday;
after we took down all of the dried crisp laundry, we would make the beds,
and I would fall face forward into jubilation
and our war’shed clothes freshness.