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In Memory Of My Mother Poem

This was written in memory of my mother. Growing up in the 50's/60's, I watched her ironing in the hot summer, before air conditioning, and wondered what she was feeling as she chored for her family. She even ironed our sheets! Her name was Ming.

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Mama Ironing

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Published: April 2009

A sweltering, stewing August afternoon as a fan blows hot stale air,
You taste the sweat on your lip, gritty with salt
and it makes you thirsty for change.

Bored, standing almost immobile, you long to
regress into a past of no demands, no clocks ticking, stealing your minutes, monopolizing precious impulses that are pining for change.

You remember the feel of soiled summer dirt on tender bare feet, smells of honeysuckle that even now, as before, steal its way through an opened door,
and it seduces your memories.

Sprinkling, stroking, fondling cloth, you crease an image
into a family. We will look starched, crisp and pressed; civilized; a snapshot from an afternoon of ironing; you
created order out of our chaos.

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