My Mother’s Washtub by Carla Bender

Mom’s washtub sits in silence now
Filled with crimson flowers on my patio
A reminder of the stories it has heard
While never responding in rebuke
Washdays that gave Mom a chance
To cleanse and clean
Her tortured thoughts and the clothes of four little ones
Sturdy and strong as a trusted friend that listened without judgment

Dismay enveloped her countenance
Her face was wrought with strain as head of her household, solo
The wringer in her washer
Extracting
Readying its garments, while listening
Renewal
The little ears that bore witness, confused

But confusion becomes understanding now
As I look at that washtub
Mom’s monument of honor
Taking care of those who needed her
A treasured memory and the closed door of hardship
Now heaven’s sweeter gain.

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