Annie has a nice washing machine now
but she remembers the one her
mother had with the wringer,
the old-fashioned kind.
Her mother took in washing and when
the washing machine would break
Annie would become half the wringer.
Mother would hold the waist of wet pants
and Annie would grip the cuffs and
they’d twist in opposite directions,
the cold water raining between them.
Each pair of farmer’s pants
put food on the table. With six kids
food was important. To this day Annie
smiles when she remembers her
Mother never had to use a pants
stretcher in winter to make
her ironing a little bit easier.
She’d hang the pants out in the yard
and they’d freeze straight on the line.