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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

The Orange Tablecloth

A poem of remembrance for Mother’s Day

The Orange Tablecloth

The folds in my mother’s orange tablecloth

are still crisp.

I imagine her

long ago

standing at at the ironing board

orange fabric

billowing on either side.

She stands,

her white apron

tied behind her back,

dish towel carelessly


over her shoulder.

Her head bowed,

she sings along

to Madam Butterfly.

Her arm sails

along the orange

river of cloth.

The iron travels

cutting a wake


back and forth

it sails.

After so many years

she is gone

but here is

the orange


fabric as fresh

as forty

years ago.

Twenty since

the last dinner party.

Ten since she handed

her daughter a bag

which sat


until now.

The orange tablecloth

still retains its folds

as if

it was just ironed


To Irma G

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