Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lavanderas

Living a ritual,
doing the wash with a friend
folding laundry with mujeres I’m close to
mami, sister, aunt, abuelita
a woman thing
trabajo de mujeres
wash, dry, fold
there is always ropa sucia to tend to
taking care of your loved ones
by washing their
camisas, calzoncillos, calcetines
damp towels, faded sheets,
and organizing it all in to plastic canastas.
Laundry
what wives and mothers have been doing
forever.

You may hear a complaint,
but there’s a secret in laundry –
the scrubbing, rinsing,
hanging up with pins and
hanging out to dry in one long, neat, billowing, flapping, yard-spanning row
or collecting it from the dryer
holding it against you for
delicious warmth –

It’s our way to be together
sharing the events of the day,
contando chismes
advising, criticizing, confiding

Folding the sweet-smelling sábanas
you take one end and I the other
fold in half the long way
then again
coming together to match up
our ends
charlando all the while.

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