Monday, September 12, 2011

Tuesday Poem: Jeff Crandall

After the Papers Are Filed

The laundry's tumbling comes to a stop.
Now sheets are white like so many smiles.
Slowly, slowly the hands of the clock

have wring each shirt, each mismatched sock.
We've finally sorted our dirt into piles.
The laundry's tumbling comes to a stop,

demanding folding, order. And, too, the mop
in the corner needs to be held, enduring these trials
slowly, slowly. The hands of the clock

cover its grinning face. How easy to mock
failure. How easy to reach for the scotch while
the laundry's tumbling. Come to a stop

now and you'll never start again. I drop
softeners in the machine: Cold. Low. Pull the dial.
Slowly, slowly, the hands of the clock

point to me. It's no worse than learning to walk
after a bypass. So join a gym, get a spaniel --
The laundry's tumbling comes to a stop.
Slowly. Slowly. The hands of the clock.


Jeff Crandall is a poet and glass artist living in Seattle. I'm a big fan of his Poet's Bottles --

Jeff's other sculptural work can be seen here.

For more Tuesday poems, please click here.


  1. T. I love this poem, it's so cleverly put together and I love the way domestic imagery is used to reference much bigger matters, you know, like 'life.'

    And I also love the new photo at the top of the blog page--is it a hydrangea flower?

    Three "loves"--so it must all be true ... :)

  2. Helen, thanks! And yes, Jeff's work is always incredibly clever and witty. I first saw this poem back in July, and thought it would be the perfect Tuesday Poem to "celebrate" the end of my marriage.

    Jeff and I have been in the same writing group for twenty years, and I used to work for him as a production assistant. He's a great guy with a wicked sense of humor.

    Nice of you to stop by and leave a comment.