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Genoways, Ted / Anna, washing
(2001)

Anna at the ironing board,   p. 20


Page 20


Anna at the Ironing Board
    Dec-7, 1913
She wraps a towel around her hand and takes
the iron from the stove. She was soaking Abe's shirts
last night-in blue-bag mixed with hartshorn flakes
to fend moths-when she heard his snoring first
grow shallow and weak. Collars turn wan
as snow on unbroken ground. Fifteen years
she scrubbed mud from oilskin and spent denim,
while beyond the Forty Mile, his scattered
tailing-piles grew round as burial mounds.
She holds the iron close to her cheek, feeling
its glow a moment, then takes his shirt down
from the drying-rack. She rubs on sealing
wax to hold each crease. Two men swinging spades
sift for gold in black sand turned from Abe's grave.
20


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