Laundry Day

Submitted by Ann Christine Tabaka  (@christinetabaka)
Crisp white sheets bleached by the sun,
waving like so many flags, surrendering
to the turbulence of life. Memories of days
long past, when life seemed simpler, and
yet felt harder, all at the same time.
I can envision my mother standing there,
her graying hair pulled back, donning a
patchwork apron; carefully taking each
rolled up damp sheet from the basket
with her age worn hands, and shaking it
out to hang upon the rope line.
White sheets, symbolic of her surrender,
giving herself in to a life of drudgery and
poverty. Labor’s love lost to past dreams
that never were. Blinded by the brightness
of the white, as she herself was bleached
and withered by the blistering sun. I still
feel her pain today, all these years later.
Certain images evoke strong memories,
taking us back in time. Like a daydream
coming into focus, I can almost touch my
mother in my mind’s eye. Then, reality
snaps its finger, as the sheets begin
to wave their surrender once again.


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Photo Credit: Camille Day – Clothesline at La Bonne Etoile


Published by

The Vita Brevis Team

“Ars longa, vita brevis" (art is long, life is short). This maxim so moved us that it seemed only right to title our online poetry magazine after it. It may seem curious that we chose Vita Brevis (life is short) as our title instead of Ars Longa (art is long). But this choice was more than appropriate; after all, the aim of our journal is to publish work that shows a keen awareness of not only art’s beauty and immortality but life’s toils and finiteness. We want to revive and nourish the rich existential literature that forms when art and the human endeavor collide.

4 thoughts on “Laundry Day”

  1. A wondrous story of memories, interwoven with glorious imagery, and the superb last line epitomises the poems flow, “As the sheets again begin to wave their surrender once again”

    Liked by 3 people

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