Moon/Navel Gazing

By Annette Marie Hyder

The moon looks like nothing more
than lint in the belly button
of a navel gazing, responsibility shirking
night god
to me.

But then, sometimes
my poetic vision, my anthropomorphizing
and my rosa tinctured spectacles
are shaped by my feelings
of the moment.

Give me another night,
another set of circumstances
and I’m sure the night god’s navel
could blossom into a flower
or a lover’s gaze

blooming only
looking only
for me —
she who writes from the laundry room
of her soul

sorting the colors and the lightly-soiled
from the pinched-between-two-fingers-filthy
loving best the part where I take things straight from the dryer — still warm
bury my face in the sheets, the towels and what-nots — and smell.

Sometimes I even hang
my laundry out to dry
on lines wrought of gold and woven with will
and clothespins of neural connections
with steel traps for the pins’ springs.

So-ho! It’s back to my laundry I go
with a basket on my hip and a big stirring paddle.
I blow a kiss to the moon
which has now become
a lacy doily
in need of this laundress’s care.

Links of interest:

History Undressed

Being a laundress was back breaking work. These ladies had to haul the water needed to do their cleaning from the well, moat or the closest river to where they did laundry, sometimes outside and sometimes in a designated room. After being heated, the water was dumped into a vat or into a bucking basket. Not only did they have to supply the water, they made the soap as well, using the method described above for lye soap.Lye soap was strong stuff, and could cut through the toughest grease spots, and other stains.

After getting the steamy water filled with lye soap, the laundress dumps the linens in and stirs with a wooden paddle, then literally beats the laundry until it’s clean. Read more here.

Laundry entry at Wikipedia
History of laundry implements and methods

Graham Barker’s Navel Fluff Collection
Guinness World Records certified largest collection of navel fluff collected by one person

There was an Old Woman tossed up in a basket
Of interest because:

  1. The basket could be a laundry basket.
  2. I love this old nursery rhyme.
  3. This website asserts that the tune to the nursery rhyme ‘Old Woman Tossed Up’ has been used as Morris Dance music for many years.

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