Posted on 07/20/2013

Photo taken on December  2, 2007

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Flannery O'Connor

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Making things clean

Making things clean
One would hardly recognize him like this,
the high school shop teacher, glasses off,
bent over the kitchen sink. Nearby,
house dresses and underpants flutter
in the window of the Maytag he bought
for his mother. Its groaning is the
only sound while she washes his hair
lifting the trembling water in her hands
as she has always done, working foam up
from his gray locks like the lightest
batter she ever made. Soon enough
glasses back on. He will stand
before students who mock his dullness;
soon, putting up cloths, she'll feel
the ache of a body surrendering to age,
A little longer let him close his eyes
against soap by her apron, let her move
her fingers slowly, slowly in this way
the two of them have found to be together,
this transfiguring moment in the world's
old wok of making things clean.

"Making things clean" ~ Flannery O'Connor