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Sponge Bath
Quichemarie

Every night at 7 p.m.,
 1
(like clockwork),
 2
the ragged washcloth
 3
appears in her hand.
 4
I stand, naked,
 5
on the cold linoleum floor,
 6
(shivering),
 7
my clothes tossed
 8
into the ringer washer.
 9
 
 
"That's a bruise, momma,"
 10
as she tries to scrub it off.
 11
"You're so dirty,
 12
I can't tell the bruises
 13
from the dirt."
 14
(I'm shivering cold).
 15
"How the hell did you
 16
get a bruise there?"
 17
(as if she didn't know)
 18
 
 
The dampness from
 19
the cloth stings my flesh
 20
as it mixes
 21
with the cold air.
 22
My mind drifts...
 23
to Saturdays.
 24
 
 
Saturdays~
 25
when my hair gets
 26
sink washed.
 27
 
 
Saturdays~
 28
when the metal basin
 29
comes out and I
 30
eagerly watch as it's
 31
filled ankle deep.
 32
I can hardly wait
 33
as my sisters take
 34
their weekly bath.
 35
 
 
Granted,
 36
I'm the third washing and
 37
the water is cold and murky.
 38
but cold, murky water
 39
is better than
 40
no water at all.
 41
 
 
And on
 42
Saturdays~
 43
I get to hold my own
 44
washcloth and
 45
I can sit down into
 46
the water and I can
 47
close my eyes
 48
and pretend...
 49
 
 
to get clean.
 50

16 Jun 05

Rated 9 (8.8) by 4 users.
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Comments:

Brought back Saturday memories of being young and poor - you forgot to mention that scum that floats to the top when you're the third one into the water!

Not sure if the last line is a metaphor or just the last line.
 — Isabelle5

This is eerie, I like it.
 — ramher

yeah, eerie, but very effective. the last line is great, pulling it all together. well done.
 — duffyj83

Great nostalgia poem which recalled for me the zinc bath that haunted my childhood
 — larrylark

  This is great!!!!!!!!!!!
 — BoundFeet

This is really good. Like, really.
 — Lia

Very well done.
Effective imagery.
 — Krttika

I think you should write a story, using this as the basis for the style of writing.
I see this as a good opening chapter (a little short, granted)
It would be an interesting read
 — mr_e

reading this back again I realise my comment is really dumb!
no doubt this comment isn't much better!
great poem, dark and sad
 — mr_e

.
 — unknown

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