I Stop Writing The Poem

I Stop Writing the Poem

to fold the clothes. No matter who lives
or who dies, I'm still a woman.
I'll always have plenty to do.
I bring the arms of his shirt
together. Nothing can stop
our tenderness. I'll get back to being
a woman. but for now
there's a shirt, a giant shirt
in my hands, and somewhere a small girl
standing next to her mother
watching to see how it's done.

Tess Gallagher


  1. wow. I remember helping my mom. She would let me iron the handkerchiefs and the pillow slips

    She had an old pop bottle with some kind of cap on the top (like a salt shaker) and that is how she "sprinkled" the clothes before she ironed. No steam irons then - or at least she didn't have one.

    i loved the smell that would rise up when the hot iron first made contact.

  2. I love that poem. It brings back memories


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