A June morning, the air hung with the scent of roses
as my mother irons, filling the kitchen with steam.
She sprinkles the laundry with water from a ketchup bottle,
showers the sheets, blesses the shirts.
Everything is pressed, even dishcloths.
Outside on the line, towels smell of wind.
The stack grows taller as the morning wanes.
Soon, there will be sandwiches,
tuna glistening with mayonnaise
on crushable white bread,
drinks made from syrup in lurid colors.
And then the long, long afternoons,
the sun, pitched and searing as a hardball
coming at you fast and clean.
Swinging hard, you connect,
hickory to rawhide,
a moment hanging in time,
stretching fresh and clean as the sheeted sky,
when days were caught, suspended,
when the dark meant only hide & seek
or time to come home.
From Selected Poems (FutureCycle Press, 2015).
Used here with the author’s permission.