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Housework

By Sherilyn Stevenson

She will iron for someone else—
two white shirts, crisping the lines,
humming sing-song
between puffs of steam, pressing
away imperfections,
while her bare toes tense and
curl beneath the board. She
hurries to avoid thinking
about the unpleasantness. She will place
on wire hangers the shirts that belong to men
who belong to the woman who lies
in a casket, waiting—
a woman with whom she spent
every Wednesday night for three years,
that cramped, dark living room,
the thunk-shoosh of the oxygen machine
attending their review of those twelve steps.
Days after the funeral she is tidying papers
on a table, when she hears from the radio
arias of a choir that give way to her sobs
which would not come any sooner.

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About Sherilyn Stevenson

Prose Editor at Segullah, Sherilyn Stevenson's essays and poetry appear in Dialogue, The Friend, LDS Living, Mothers Always Write, and other publications. She earned a Masters of English with a creative writing emphasis and works for state government in Utah.

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