Laundry {Poetry + Pictures}

Laundry by George Bilgere

My mother stands in this black
And white arrangement of shadows
In the sunny backyard of her marriage,
Struggling to pin the white ghosts
Of her family on the line.
I watch from my blanket on the grass
As my mother's blouses lift and billow,
Bursting with the day.
My father's white work shirts
Wave their empty sleeves at me,
And my own little shirts and pants
Flap and exult like flags
In the immaculate light.

It is mid-century, and the future lies
Just beyond the white borders
Of this snapshot; soon that wind
Will get the better of her
And her marriage. Soon the future
I live in will break
Through those borders and make
A photograph of her-but

For now the shirts and blouses
Are joyous with her in the yard
As she stands with a wooden clothes pin
In her mouth, struggling to keep
The bed sheets from blowing away.


from The Good Kiss. © The University of Akron Press, 2002.
Reprinted at Writers Almanac with permission.

The Photos? From top to bottom from The Hanging Laundry Flickr Pool.

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