I thoroughly enjoy the Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series featuring Precious Ramotswe. In one of the more recent titles, Precious and Grace accepted as fact that men throw their laundry on the floor. The two detectives considered this clothing-as-debris behavior as unchangeable. This made me wonder how things might have been different had Precious and Grace reacted differently when, at the beginning of their marriages, they encountered the clothes on the floor.
That, in turn, prompted me to dash off this poem.
There They Lie
jeans, tees, and shirts litter
crumpled where you
dropped them under
the mistaken notion that
somebody would pick them up
and return them freshly laundered
the way your mother used to
. . . or maybe your father,
while ineffectually admonishing you
to pick them up
Yourself now acts as if
I will pick up discarded raiments
and return them laundered. Yourself
is in for a scrubbing in thick suds
of intransigence. I not only refuse
to stoop for your dirty laundry,
I treat it like floor covering,
making certain to wipe
You can read other poems by Barbara Gregorich in Crossing the Skyway: Poems.