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. 

Pam Jessen

If you have any thoughts on this poem,  Pam Jessen 
would be pleased to hear them.