Wash Day

Mae's dusk-colored hands slack.
She leans on a broom handle,
tells me of a day
no calendar can confirm.

Hear us. We're singing
as early light lakes
in the clearing,
revolving in the pines.

Squared on our headrags
bundles big as hay bales,
fresh wash tied up in sheets.

Up from the bottom
on the leaf softened path,
hemmed between earth and sky,
the murmur of bare feet.

Up from the spring
in limpid blueness
the open-ended slat box
holds the shape of the water.

Up from a place
where her childhood sings.

Neca Stoller

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