Friday, July 22, 2016

Policing the Laundry

Earlier today my friend Jacob posted a line on Facebook that made me remember this poem. I wrote it back in 1998, when my relationship with my late mate, John was brand new. It was a tenuous, weighty time in my life - one that I was willing to wade through because I sensed great reward in staying the course. I wasn't wrong.

This piece resurfaces every now and then, reminding me that even in the everyday, there is a clear message and a path that needs following.

Without further ado...

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 mismatched 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 the mundane -
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.

BAB 1998

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