Back then women dampened clothes
before ironing them. Sprinkled
they called it, corked tops
in washed out Pepsi bottles
to do the job.
Or Coke, if you preferred.
But Pepsi, the taller bottle,
required less re-filling.
Sometimes the moist clothes
went in the Frigidaire,
to ripen, like cookie dough.
Lazy women, who built their
lives on pretending,
would leave them there
until they mildewed.
Sometimes beyond redemption.
My mother never used this method,
and so when I tried to
in my young wife’s life,
I often failed.
Out of sight, out of mind.
I got such satisfaction
from the well-intentioned
such self-doubt from the failed
Many things were like that,
many still are.
Uneaten produce tossed into the trash,
fabric never sewn,
these are the failures
that dog our lives,
not the large mistakes we
eventually get over,
the day-to-day habit
of letting ourselves down.