Jan. 18, 2017
Draft as written in my journal at 6:30 am
So much depends on shaking out the wrinkles
in the clean dry handkerchief,
then laying out the cloth on the ironing board.
So much depends on Mother’s hand on mine
as we lift the steam iron and she helps me
set the point into the corner of the handkerchief and
glide the iron along the seam.
So much depends on Mother lifting away her hand
and the encouraging whisper in my ear to
turn the cloth and repeat the ironing, until she says,
“ that’s perfect,”
and you set down the iron on its metal pad.
So much depends on how you take each corner
and fold the cloth over onto itself and
halve the cloth and again Mother’s hand on mine
and we delicately iron down the fold line and
set down the iron and fold this white rectangle
in half again and Mother lets me
iron down the crease and the steam puffs and
the cotton smells and you hold
the folded handkerchief to your nose and
it smells of Mother.
So much depends on ironing handkerchiefs
when you are five years old and
the whole world is pressed and clean and
Mother’s hand is on yours,
(C) 2017 James Ciletti
I share this first draft just as I had written it this morning so that you can
“edit” it to make it better. And in a few days, after I brood over it, I’ll
share my re-write. Cheers.
“The best poems and stories are the ones you get down on paper.”