The Laundress

That man, the painter—
nothing better to do

And so, I’ll begin the sketch. She is magnificent–
her sturdy body, and her muscled arms—

they ache–bent over scrubbing all day–
my back, my legs! And still the ironing,

not done. The light is fading. The color, not quite right.
But that glow illuminating her? Our lady of the laundry. . .
.

yes, I pray, but. . .oh, this basket top-full and heavy.
Come child, give me your hand,

so tender

my dear little one. I’ll tell you a story–
once there was a man who painted

her face

all the weariness gone.


Honoré Daumier, “The Laundress” (1863?), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Public Domain

April is Poetry Month, and there are so many challenges and prompts! I won’t be doing or posting every NaPoWriMo prompt, but today I’m combining this “early bird” prompt with the dVerse poetics prompt where De asked to write about laundry. This formatting took way too long to figure out. Tomorrow is the start of Paul Brookes’ Ekphrastic Challenge.