Essays / Faculty

“June 29, 1863” by Teresa Carson

22c580a3-ab41-4cf1-a965-28e8bd9389fa

June 29, 1963

Across the state of Ohio,
across the counties of Ashtabula, Pickaway, Drake, Cuyahoga, and Stark,
across the towns of Pigeon Run, Winesburg, Rome, and Paradise,
women wash clothes on Mondays.
The women of Ohio believe the Creator of all things is a Being of system and order
and therefore believe each hour must
be systematically employed;
they must cultivate regulated habits in regard to household chores.
The women believe these habits will bring forth fruits of good or ill,
not only through earthly generations but through everlasting ages.
Thus, on Mondays, the women of Ohio wash clothes—
a task that leaves no time to cook benevolent provisions so on Sundays they bake hams, which can be eaten cold next day.
Their men have gotten used to this.
Washday begins at dawn when women tote buckets from rivers and wells.
Then hours and hours of scrub/rinse/wring/dip/hang.
As evening falls, their lye-cracked hands sprinkle and roll the clothes
for ironing on Tuesday.
Their mothers trained them how to wash and how to hang a proper line—
whites in sun, colors turned wrong side out, sheets hiding petticoats—
and they, who do not eat the bread of idleness,
will train their daughters in these same domestic rules
because the women of Ohio know
evil results from disorder.


CHECK OUT Teresa’s website

LEARN MORE about Teresa and The Frost Place

APPLY to the Conference on Poetry and Teaching

Advertisements

2 thoughts on ““June 29, 1863” by Teresa Carson

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s