Drudgery by Gillian Mellor

He insists on coming in the utility room,
says he doesn’t feel dirty in there.
She had a breather until he found those tablets.
Now he comes in twice a day, every day,
opens her up, empties his load.

She feels like she can’t say no, wants to apologise
when fabric softener spills in the sink.
He says she’s electric. She dreams
of making him do it by hand,
putting him in a spin, buying a mangle.

Gillian Mellor lives near Moffat in Scotland. She has had poems published on and offline and can be traced to The Moffat Bookshop on the days they let her out.


The Artist Does Laundry by Pat Tompkins

The artist mixes darks and lights
in a single load on washday,
although she knows that blacks and whites
will turn various tones of gray.

The cheap madras fabric bleeds
odd shades: a true creation.
The bargain red towel will lead
to pastel pink foundations.

Different colors each season:
a della robbia blue
gets muddied into titian.
The old wardrobe becomes new.

(Previously published in Still Point Quarterly)

Pat Tompkins is an editor in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her poems have appeared in Confingo, The A3 Review, bottle rockets, and other publications.