Light of Heaven

A different year, a different state,
a different bar…this one called
Suds, and open early, from 8 AM
Laura M. Kaminski, Laundry Poem #4: Suds

A colleague at work owns a washing machine,
but he still goes to the laundromat for the social
interactions. His local washateria must be different
from the ones I remember.

In grad school, decades ago, we did our laundry in groups
so we could keep an eye on our clothes and the unsavory
types that wandered in and out of the harsh
lighting. Later we loaded our cars
to go to Suds, the place near campus
that charged the same hoping
we’d buy beers and play pool while we waited.

I still wash my clothes until they’re threadbare,
a grad school habit left from days when I could scrounge
together laundry money but not enough for a shirt,
not even from the Salvation Army thrift store.

Now I still wash laundry in the earliest
hours of the morning, but it’s a much quieter
event, no pool balls cracking,
no homeless man muttering about the light
of Heaven shimmering just above our heads.

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Kristin Berkey-Abbott has published two chapbooks: Whistling Past the Graveyard (Pudding House Publications) and I Stand Here Shredding Documents (Finishing Line Press). She oversees the department of General Education at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale and she teaches as an adjunct at both Broward College and City College. She writes regularly about books, creativity, poetry, and modern life at her creativity blog, and she explores a variety of spiritual issues at her theology blog. Her website gives more information about her writing and her academic career.

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