Wash Day in Bodoc


This is how my mother would wash our clothes.

She started the fire by the light of her lantern.

Fire under the black kettle,

To boil the weeks' clothes,

Later to be ladled out with the wide paddle into the zinc tub,

Then scrubbing each piece on the classic washboard,
Then rinsing, then bluing in another zinc tub,
Then twisting each piece,
Willing out water, soap, bluing,
Then putting each piece
Into the wooden peach basket,

Then taking the basket on her hip

To the clothesline, and

Sliding the sack of clothespins on the line,

Hanging up each piece to dry.


--September 29, 2013