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.