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Folding the Sheets

When I fold them,

I see you

my devoted launderer,

how you washed and dried

and folded

for decades

in our small attic laundry,

where the ceiling slopes down to the eaves

and where folding a sheet

required dedication

and practice.

Practice I never had in our decades together

because you took the task of washing

clothes we wore out into the world,

and bed sheets, our second home.

The room still tilts.

Even though your folding is done,

you are still here in the creases and seams

of the house,

in the clean and shining fabric

I pull from the wash.

I fold and straighten

in our slanted room.

My corners are often amiss

and out of kilter.

Barbara Chilcote

Avatar photoBarbara has written off and in for all of her life. When her husband of 42 years died, all was dark and dull and then she fell in love with an old friend, adopted a puppy, and moved to Edmonds where she gardens, writes, and tries to train a dog.

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