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Genoways, Ted / Anna, washing
(2001)

Anna on the beach,   p. 12


Page 12


Anna on the Beach
    Dyea, Alaska, Oct-1897
Broken crates rim the leeshore like driftwood.
Men scramble, clumsy as crabs, to rescue
their outfits from the coming tide. Where Abe stood
minutes before, a man-sunk in his boots-
clings to a tipped platform: his year's ration
(sacks of flour, dried soup, lard) skims atop
the undertow. On shore: Anna, washing,
whittling lye soap into melted ice, chopped
from the stream bank. Abe haggles with packers
over price per pound. From a man, beaten
and bound for home, he buys an old pack-horse.
Anna hangs pants on tent lines to freeze them
stiff and dry. She loads her washing machine:
ten thousand men-just me to keep them clean-
12


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