Friday, January 14, 2022


The rusty metal heron fell over again
out in the yard. It is having a hard time
staying on his feet
these winter mornings.
I prop his spiky toes with a rock,
come back inside,
where the washing machine is humming.
Such ease, I have in my life. I think of
my grandmother, raising four kids
through the Depression, how she hand-washed
the sheets in the bathtub, wrung them out,
hung them outside in minus twenty temperatures
till they froze, then brought them back inside,
standing them up around the room to thaw.

But she thought I worked hard,
with my own four children,
and my huge backyard garden.
"I had my husband to help me," she said.
I can see her, in her red vest and skirt,
her white blouse, white hair, spectacles,
sitting under the grape arbor as I weeded,
the fat brown pet bunny munching
his way down the row, then
napping near me, luxuriously,
in the sun.

The snow has gone. Today the sky is grey,
promising rain. Soup is bubbling on the stove.
All is warm, all is well,
within and without:

Such gifts,
a winter morning brings.

This poem was inspired by Winter Morning by James Crews


  1. I enjoyed your recollections of your grandmother, Sherry. Can't imagine washing sheets in the bathtub and later standing them up inside to thaw. She sounds like an amazing woman.

  2. She was a total character, Mary,with a wicked sense of humour and a cackle I inherited. I look a lot like her, too.

  3. I cannot imagine doing laundry like that, I am grateful for the modern age washer and dryer.


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