The Old Washing Machine

The Old Washing Machine

The minute I twist her dial
and pull our her knob
she leaps into action,
fetching bucket upon bucket of water.

Then stops.

What does she do
in those moments of stillness?

Perhaps she’s ruing her instant obedience,
wants to let me know who’s really the boss here.
She’ll start again, but only when
she’s good and ready.

Or she’s planning the job ahead
plotting each agitation
like a skater envisioning
the poised execution
of each spin.

Most likely, though,
she is the old lady
with arthritis
at the bottom of the stairs,
screwing up her courage
for the task ahead.

© 2013 – Violet Nesdoly

Check out more washed, dried, ironed and folded poems, part of this week’s focus on laundry at Your Daily Poem:

4 thoughts on “The Old Washing Machine”

  1. Lovely like always, Violet. I have a new washer/dryer set in my new home & have fussed with it, getting to ‘know’ its peculiarities just as you’ve written. They do pause & in this new one, I think it’s changing to go a different way. It made me crazy for a while because when it paused I thought it was finished, would jump up to change the wash, & it wasn’t done yet. I get the Daily Poem too, so have been reading those poems. Lots of memories wrapped up in wash day!


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