Saturday, May 7, 2016

Laundry by Sandy Coomer

I washed your clothes
that smelled of urine and vomit,
twice through the cycle,
with colorfast bleach and the hottest water.

I folded them, matching
corners, sleeves. I sewed new
buttons and re-stitched hems.

I stacked them, sweatpants
and jeans, sweaters and shirts,
socks and underwear, laying
them gently, like gifts, in
a laundry basket
in your front hall

while you were
in the doctor’s office,
a line of chemicals linked
to your arm.

I didn’t wait for you to come home
ashen and thin, your head
wrapped in a blue bandana,
your eyes and lips

too large for words.

Sandy Coomer is a poet, mixed media artist, and endurance athlete. Her poems have most recently been published in Big Muddy, Icarus Down Review, Hypertrophic Literary Magazine, and Main Street Rag. She is the author of two poetry collections: Continuum (Finishing Line Press) and The Presence of Absence (2014 Janice Keck Literary Award for Poetry).