4 a.m. July 1955
Soft thumping tumbles me from sleep --
I pad from the breathless hot room,
see my mother,
hair in pin curls, cotton-robed,
pressing wrinkles from my father’s work shirts.
Sprinkled clothing rolled and stacked like
loaves of bread await their turn
under the steaming iron.
From the shadow of the hallway,
I study her measured movements –
turn the shirt just so, press, smooth, turn . . .
Steam billows and for a moment she’s lost in that cloud.
My breath catches –
I want to clear away the steam,
gentle the night with cool breezes.
She sees me then and smiles, folding me
In a damp embrace.
I reach for the iron and she nods,
guiding my hand as together
we banish the wrinkles.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Pam
be pleased to hear them.