“Laundry List” by Barbara Costas-Biggs


Laundry List

I am vacuuming.
I am Princess Leia.
I am tasting the marinara for sweetness.
I am loading the dishwasher.
Listening down the stairs for the dryer’s buzz.
Pouring glasses of milk.
I am filling the dogs’ dishes.
I am watching maple leaves fall.
I am picking up crayons.
I am calling the pharmacy.
Scheduling dentist appointments.
Checking my email.
Covering the tender plants.
I am ironing shirts

(and this is a waste of time, I know,
but tomorrow my children have school pictures,
so I am dragging out the
ironing board, a wedding gift —
yes, a damn wedding gift —
to make sure all the imperfections
are smoothed. Rarely is one of my son’s
vocabulary words. Momma rarely irons, he says
to the back of my bent head).

I have a Valium hidden in my wallet.
I have the maple leaves.
I have an appointment for a tattoo.
I have mustard greens to cut.
I have the sweet marinara.
I have selective hearing.
I have a new brown bottle that rattles with the cure.
I am not the Den Mother, the Room Mother or
the Mother of All Mothers.

I have lists in my head.
I will smooth out the imperfections.
The tender plants might make it.

Barbara Costas-Biggs

Barbara Costas-Biggs is the 2017 winner of the Split This Rock Abortion Rights Poetry Contest. Her work is forthcoming or has appeared recently in Dodging the Rain, Bird’s Thumb, Calamus, District Lit, Literary Mama, Compose, and others. She also is a member of the juried poetry series Women of Appalachia: Women Speak. She can be found online at www.barbwrites.com and sporadically on Twitter @bcostasbiggs.

Photo Credit: Staff