I wrote a new poem last and thought I'd share it. It was a quiet afternoon and I had chores to do. Kat was out with Tasha. So I sat down to fold. I could hear a neighbor working on something with a hammer. There was someone else listening to a Spanish pop-song on a radio. Everything felt sort of pleasantly peaceful and not-too-close. I like some of Emily Dickinson's poems, where she's engaged in trivial, day to day activities and observations. I like that sort of attentiveness. I like to imagine someone far away or in the future reading it and wondering "What was daily life like in the early 21st century in the US? Were they just like us?" I've written a poem about cooking muffins before, to give an example, and have often thought a sort of Ode to the Ladle would be fun and informative to write. Anyways, here's this one.
I like folding clothes
when the house is quiet
and the windows open.
I tuck the pockets in first, for the pants.
Then I fold them in quarters, tugging at the seams.
The towels I fold in thirds
like my father taught me,
the shorts in half . The bras
I fold cup into cup, with the straps bundled inside
like a bowl of noodles. The socks—
I separate them and match at the end, like my mother.
seam to seam.
I tuck the arms in.
I drape them properly on my lap.
I fold them in half, then half again,
so they’ll fit in the drawers.
I pull the folds tight, and I place them in their pile.
You can get into a rhythm,
if you’re careful and quiet,
much like the drapes,
billowing and receding,
that sigh now
against the wood like waves.