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Genoways, Ted / Anna, washing
(2001)

Soap-making,   p. 17


Page 17


Soap-Making
    Sept-1909
All morning, Anna leached lye from alders,
simmered tallow from the broken femurs
of moose. Now she hems cuffs of Abe's trousers
to match his shrinking stride. River-steamers
blow grey plumes, unloading last supplies
before freeze-up. Ice floes-pounding like clogs-
remind her of shapes spinning in lamplight,
how they rolled back rugs in the Redmen lodge,
Abe's overshoes awkward as syllables
of stumbled English. Her thimble finger steals
to her lip when she pictures the wobble
of his waltz. She walks to the pot and feels
its sides, cool enough to cradle. She takes
handfuls and pats out rows of even cakes.
17


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