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Julia

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I clutch the wringer washer

in our cellar on Wayne Street.

Unable to stop the rusty agitator,

it thrusts my blue sun dress

from side to side while you fill

both laundry tubs with cold water.

"Be careful of your fingers,"

you warn, as I untangle

my dress from the machine

and squeeze it

between two wooden rollers.

It drops down into the first rinse.

Much like your hand slumps back

into the wave of your blue negligee

this afternoon as I bend over you

remove the red ruby from your cold finger

then kiss your closed eyes

green like the ocean

and miles away.

-- Joanne Samraney

Joanne Samraney lives in the South Hills and has poems forthcoming in Main Street Rag and the Sandburg-Livesay Anthology. Her chapbook Grounded Angels won the 2001 Acorn-Rukeyser Award. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on independent radio, WYEP 91.3 FM.

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