Author:Sazzman, Ellen
Position:POEM - Poem

PRESSING My mother leaned into the stroke as she pressed our sheets. Her right hand eased the iron forward and back, slow glide for once she could lead. Her left hand smoothed bouquets of pink and blue. She aimed the plastic water bottle, sprayed at upstart flowers, pressed again, end to end. Mist sizzled above flattened blossoms. Next came his shirts--she hated the collars, cuffs, the buttonholes, button-side's slalom, her wrist twisted so as not to crease it up, my father always critiquing her job on them. But sheets were her held territory, her private habit. She looked down at me, offered to teach me to iron. I shook my head. She warned I'd never find a rich husband--who'd marry me? Now I study my own well-seamed hands they could use a good pressing. But my sole skill's a bent for irony. Her gray-padded board's been junked and the ironer no longer offers up the scent of dried flowers...

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