Wash Away

February 2, 2012
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Gnarled hands like ancient oak limbs
With skeletal veins, brown age-spots
Fill the wooden bucket with sudsy water
She reaches for the laundry, piece by piece
To knead them like dough
On tinted, wavy metal of the washboard
Rub, dip, soak, repeat
Floral towels shaded gaudy fuchsia
The ones bought on sale
Pillowcases and linen sheets
Entrusted with thoughts and dreams
Denim jeans that hold deep pockets
With quarters and a torn ticket stub
No matter her hunched back, throbbing hands
Time after time,
She washes away grimes and stains
To reveal the clean underneath

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