Archives for posts with tag: ironing

Image
IRONING
by Vicki Feaver

I used to iron everything:
my iron flying over sheets and towels
like a sledge chased by wolves over snow;

the flex twisting and crinking
until the sheath frayed, exposing
wires like nerves. I stood like a horse

with a smoking hoof,
inviting anyone who dared
to lie on my silver padded board,

to be pressed to the thinness
of dolls cut from paper.
I’d have commandeered a crane

if I could, got the welders at Jarrow
to heat me an iron the size of a tug
to flatten the house.

Then for years I ironed nothing.
I put the iron in a high cupboard.
I converted to crumpledness.

And now I iron again: shaking
dark spots of water onto wrinkled
silk, nosing into sleeves, round

buttons, breathing the sweet heated smell
hot metal draws from newly washed
cloth, until my blouse dries

to a shining, creaseless blue,
an airy shape with room to push
my arms, breasts, lungs, heart into.

SOURCE: “Ironing” appears in Vicki Feaver‘s collection The Handless Maiden (Random House, 1994), available at Amazon.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Vicki Feaver (born Nottingham , England, 1943) is an English poet. She studied music at Durham University and English at University College, London, and later worked as a lecturer and tutor in English and Creative Writing at University College, Chichester, where she is an Emeritus Professor. She now lives with her psychiatrist husband in Dunsyre, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, at the foot of the Pentland Hills. She is the author of The Book of BloodClose Relatives, and The Handless MaidenThe Book of Blood was shortlisted for both the Forward Prize and the Costa Poetry Award. (Read more at Wikipedia.org.)

Painting: “A Woman Ironing” by Edgar Degas (1873)

Image
IRONING
by Vicki Feaver

I used to iron everything:
my iron flying over sheets and towels
like a sledge chased by wolves over snow;

the flex twisting and crinking
until the sheath frayed, exposing
wires like nerves. I stood like a horse

with a smoking hoof,
inviting anyone who dared
to lie on my silver padded board,

to be pressed to the thinness
of dolls cut from paper.
I’d have commandeered a crane

if I could, got the welders at Jarrow
to heat me an iron the size of a tug
to flatten the house.

Then for years I ironed nothing.
I put the iron in a high cupboard.
I converted to crumpledness.

And now I iron again: shaking
dark spots of water onto wrinkled
silk, nosing into sleeves, round

buttons, breathing the sweet heated smell
hot metal draws from newly washed
cloth, until my blouse dries

to a shining, creaseless blue,
an airy shape with room to push
my arms, breasts, lungs, heart into.

“Ironing” appears in Vicki Feaver‘s collection The Handless Maiden (Random House, 1994), available at Amazon.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Vicki Feaver (born Nottingham , England, 1943) is an English poet. She studied music at Durham University and English at University College, London, and later worked as a lecturer and tutor in English and Creative Writing at University College, Chichester, where she is an Emeritus Professor. She now lives with her psychiatrist husband in Dunsyre, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, at the foot of the Pentland Hills. She is the author of The Book of BloodClose Relatives, and The Handless Maiden. The Book of Blood was shortlisted for both the Forward Prize and the Costa Poetry Award. (Read more at Wikipedia.org.)

Painting: “A Woman Ironing” by Edgar Degas (1873)