Wednesday, November 3, 2010


In those days a dime made you a phone call
in a phone booth and it ran the clothes dryers.
Tide and bleach are what you washed with.
Ashtrays stood on pedestals every few yards.
He smoked fat El Productos, she smoked Vantages.
Molded plastic seats hooked in a row to a bench,
lemon yellow, baby blue, pea green, strange
tints of basic colors, dated now as we look back.
Colors like the Chryslers, Buicks, and Pontiacs
lined up on the other side of a painted window.
An evening breeze of the docks pulled the smell
of onions, oregano, oil and vinegar into the
doorway of the Laundromat from the subs
being built next door at the Market for folks
from Philly who called them damn good hoagies.
A great place to pick up Tastycakes, a cold RC,
a Bulletin, an Inquirer or a Cape May Star & Wave.
And when I sat, waiting with my drawing tablet,
I saw two people happy together, my grandparents,
smiling, laughing, remembering as they folded sheets
hot from the dryer. Working systematically, smoothly,
to make a perfectly folded pile of linens to pack up
and take back to their little apartment at the Shore.
Being just eight years old, I thought folding sheets
must be what only happily married people do together.

1 comment:

Senorita said...

Wow, this is my favorite post of yours. I love nostalgic posts like these !