Saturday, August 28, 2010

Policing the Laundry

Mountain Dream

Here we are again at poetry Saturday. I'm beginning to like these Saturday posts... you? Just a little something different to wind down the week. Again, I'm taking Sunday "off." I'm beginning to like that too, now that I've managed to hurdle the guilt of not writing for one entire day (egads! the horror!). It gives me a day to refresh, rethink, regroup.

The following poem is one that I wrote about 11 years ago. It was sparked off of a comment John made while we were at a laundromat. As he sat watching things spin in the dryer, he remarked with a sigh, "I wonder what the whales think of us..." That small, but profound, spark set off the tinder that became this poem. It was one of his favorites.

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday Night at the Laundromat

Policing the laundry,
machines spinning
an endless cycle of dirt
that measures the days -
you with your things,
me with my things,
our stuff mingling
like so many mis-matched socks,
and we just wait to fold.

The dryers hum a litany.
You roll your eyes heavenward
to say if there was really
a real god
there'd be no laundry.
This is why
I am thinking of atheism
(that spiritual fig leaf)
as I fold underwear.

It's all too real,
this business of our lives,
the place between
pleasure and progress,
where we are stuck
in a minefield of mundanity -
we worry about the steps, but
nothing ever does explode.
Hey, the towels are fluffy,
the sheets are warm.
It's absurdly important.
Yeah. I, too, wonder
what the whales must think of us.

It's done again, and
we face another week
of things gradually
filling a basket.
I slip my hand
into yours,
and ponder
how complicated it can be
to simply live.

© Barbara Ann Black, 2010-2011


  1. "I wonder what the whales think of us?" John, I wish I'd known you. I send light out to the universe in the hope it touches you & you know I'm thinking of you.
    I love the poem Barb & yes, our lives are filled with the mundane, but it's moments like these that we remember & hold on to. Have a wonderful weekend.

  2. i love this one. i can see why it was one of John's favorites.

  3. I loved this poem it was a great one to think of how something so simple could bring some one so close to another. Great poem. Can i sugguest you check out my blog again great poem i will be reading more.


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