Sunday, July 10, 2011

Doing Laundry on Sunday

Doing Laundry on Sunday

By Brigit Pegeen Kelly

So this is the Sabbath, the stillness
in the garden, magnolia
bells drying damp petticoats

over the porch rail, while bicycle
wheels thrum and the full-breasted tulips
open their pink blouses

for the hands that pressed them first
as bulbs into the earth.
Bread, too, cools on the sill,

and finches scatter bees
by the Shell Station where a boy
in blue denim watches oil

spread in phosphorescent scarves
over the cement. He dips
his brush into a bucket and begins

to scrub, making slow circles
and stopping to splash water on the children
who, hours before it opens,

juggle bean bags outside Gantsy’s
Ice Cream Parlor,
while they wait for color to drench their tongues,

as I wait for water to bloom
behind me—white foam, as of magnolias,
as of green and yellow

birds bathing in leaves—wait,
as always, for the day, like bread, to rise
and, with movement

imperceptible, accomplish everything.


Sue said...

Accomplishment! It's an underrespected word. Felt so good today: cleaned the refridg, tended the roses and weeded them thoroughly. Bread? Laundry? Maybe tomorrow!

John Guzlowski said...

Brigit is one of the great readers. After reading this poem, I went online to see if I could find a youtube or an audio of her reading. I couldn't, and that's a shame because her voice--in a strange spiritual, ethereal way--brings me to the roots of poetry every time I hear her.