tableau vivant

July 16, 2006

Ironing – Vicki Feaver

Filed under: Poetry — by cerene @ 2:05 pm

    I used to iron everything:
    my iron flying over sheets and towels
    like a sledge chased by wolves over snow;

    the flex twisting and crinking
    until the sheath frayed, exposing
    wires like nerves. I stood like a horse

    with a smoking hoof,
    inviting anyone who dared
    to lie on my silver padded board,

    to be pressed to the thinness
    of dolls cut from paper.
    I’d have commandeered a crane

    if I could, got the welders at Jarrow
    to heat me an iron the size of a tug
    to flatten the house.

    Then for years I ironed nothing.
    I put the iron in a high cupboard.
    I converted to crumpledness.

    And now I iron again: shaking
    dark spots of water onto wrinkled
    silk, nosing into sleeves, round

    buttons, breathing the sweet heated smell
    hot metal draws from newly-washed
    cloth, until my blouse dries

    to a shining, creaseless blue,
    an airy shape with room to push
    my arms, breasts, lungs, heart into.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Even the most boring of subjects can be made interesting in the hands of a good writer – “Ironing” by Vicki Feaver does this brilliantly. I also like poems that tackle big topics in new […]

    Pingback by Teignmouth Poetry Competition | Rebecca Gethin — January 24, 2017 @ 12:53 pm |Reply


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