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.

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