Laundry Woman

My great-grandmother agitated
Mrs. Worldly’s wash every week
over the hot flash and glow
of the fire in the misery shed.
Hand on rough stick, grandmother
pulled around the glob
of tangled shirts and sheets;
she stirred as if hauling the weighted
laundry about an axis, sloshy seas
yielding a watery soup, thin gruel, sure,
but nutrition enough to feed her
fatherless children, nutrition enough
to bring us into this unimagined World.

Kathleen Driskell is Chair and Professor of Creative Writing at the Spalding University School of Creative and Professional Writing and is the author of four books of poetry. Her collection of poems Next Door to the Dead is the 2018 winner of the Judy Gaines Young Book Award. Her poems have been published in many national journals including Shenandoah, The Southern Review, and The Louisville Review. She currently serves as chair of the board of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. 

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