POEMS FROM IRONING WITH SUE LAWLEY

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A WOMAN’S PRAYER

Oh Lord! Grant me
one whole day in the house alone,
a day from before dawn until after sunset,

a day from morning until evening
or from after breakfast until dinner time.
No, no, cancel that, thinking about dinner will ruin the day.

Grant me one whole day to be
master of the house. Not mistress;
master of the house, all day.

Well Lord! It’s hard to explain the difference it makes,
the tidiness stays tidy, meals are taken lightly,
but it’s more than that.

Alone is separate, spacious.
I may do everything. I may do nothing.
Limitless hours of possibility release the day.

Oh Lord! On second thoughts,
grant me two whole days
in the house alone.

TO A DAUGHTER IN WAITING

Stronger than butterflies,
inside me a trapped bird
batters its wings against my soft walls.

All day I think of you,
begin a thousand jobs,
stand in the middle of the room
not going left, not going right.

Your blue eyes in the photograph
look deep trust in me.
I have not prepared you for the pain.

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