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.