Housewife’s Lament

Housewife’s Lament
Chris Vogt-Hennessy

I love the opera of the wash
on the line, the language of laundry:

I don’t have to speak for months.

There is the pulley system—its ease,
the flapping pants, swinging sleeves,
the going out wet, coming in dry.

If I could be that line
or even tied taut to a tree
I would not sway, I would stay:
a lace scarf draped on a high branch.

If I could be that rope and
control the coming and the going.

Today I drag my fingers through the water
of the wash basin, see concentric circles
like carp breathing below,

hear his echo in the small sounds
the water makes.

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