Monday’s Laundry

Monday’s Laundry
by Frank Scarangello

How white Monday’s laundry
against a bright blue sky of summer
hung from a clothesline stretching
from a third floor window to a telephone pole

watching grandma hang the clothes
my feet pushing on the treadle
while sitting at her ancient sewing machine
“Non giocare con la machina!”

Her wrinkled hands now leaning on the sill
looking out across a yard of grass
forbidden to tenants of the third floor
no dogs or kids allowed

perhaps dreaming of her mother’s garden
a few chickens, almond trees and wild flowers
good things that may return one day
if not for her, perhaps for me.

A sigh, a turn and then a smile
as we together water geraniums
in a window box erasing the gloom
from the brown bricks of a Brooklyn tenement.

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