My Mother in a Washing Machine

My Mother in a Washing Machine
by C.L. Quigley
Trying to lift the pain with a stain fighter,
Cold Cold or Warm Cold but not Hot Cold.
Hot – burns the tender flesh fighting so hard.
But will a Gentle Cycle wash away
The Scream and bring back her smart smile?
Gently, with care, I lift her bones and skin
into the wash bin. Her eyes reply.
I know this will work, mom.
The broken ratchet sound, I spin the knob.
It’s time to wash clean the pain, bleach
the invader and arm the fighters.
I pass Normal Soil, Light, Gentle Speed
and pull the knob at Heavy.
Mom spins, silently enduring –
Is she okay? Can she breathe?
Her night gown – wet and soapy,
clings to her brown legs.
The knob spins slowly, like a clock.
Heels over head, she (Permanent) presses on with b elief.
The arrow passes Rinse, and the Spin Cycle begins.
F a s t e r
F a s t e r
Faster the machine dances across the linoleum CLICK!
The violence slows to a hiss.
A stopwatch,
ticking, wondering,

0 thoughts on “My Mother in a Washing Machine

  1. much gratitude to Haggard & Halloo, my favorite electronic literary journal. this poem “My Mother in a Washing Machine” was originally published in the Cosumnes River Journal 2011 issue, a hardcopy journal out of Sacramento, California. with warmth, C.L Quigley

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