A poem to read while doing your husband’s laundry…
While you were away
I matched your socks
and rolled them into balls.
Then I filled your drawer with
tight dark fists.
— Jane Kenyon, From Room to Room, 1978
Jane Kenyon’s poems abound in housewifely images that take on edgy or strangely important meanings. I wonder if she threw those fists into the drawer, or if she methodically placed them there and then imagined their latent power as they sat in the dark drawer, waiting.
In other poems it’s clear she loves her husband dearly (he is poet Donald Hall, by the way), but I imagine every wife has laundry moments such as this.