Machine Wash Cold [poem]

Is it just me, or do you also see a baby in the dryer on the top left?!?

Is it just me, or do you also see a baby in the top-left dryer?!?

 

I love it when inspiration hits me when I least expect it.

Machine Wash Cold

With the kchink kchink of things
that don’t belong,
the dryers mask
couples’ hissing whispers,
teeth-clenched jabs–their blackmail
tucked away in pockets,
to be used when necessary.

It is the kids who are free.
Sneakers slapping against the tile flooring,
they zoom past a do-not-run sign,
hopping on get-away scooters, escaping
The Bad Guys.
They spill  Sippy cups and
wipe Goldfish-dusted fingers
on their chairs.

Their smiles, no one cannot resist
except the Chinese owners who cast
wary eyes on customers.
And they still chase
the Dream,
folding their time into piles
of someone else’s
pants,
shirts,
and underwear.

You pour bleach
to keep away
stains,
and add extra detergent
for want of freshness
soon to fade.

You drag your cart,
useless dryer sheets
latching onto its wheels.
Socks are always lonesome,
forgotten.

You know you cannot hide
among glistening chocolate skin,
bumps, scars,
weaves, braids, and headwraps,
all standing with hands on their jutting hips,
pluck and steadfast:
do not let anyone in.

Sandals scrape the floor
sssh sssh sssh
going out the door
until it’s laundry day
again.

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Dates of blog posts

August 2014
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Comments

  1. says

    I read this aloud and couldn’t help but notice the rhythm. The particular objects you mention in this help to make this poem a strong one, for instance the “Goldish dusted fingers” and the “jutting hips”. I also noticed the references to American Dream like ideas, like the kids being “free” and chasing the “Dream”. It’s so exciting to read your poetry Loan!

    Like

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