Poems of a Washerwoman

Oh, God, I pray Thee,
Let me see in these white suds,
That swish up to my elbows,
Not the grime embedded in the pile
Of waiting clothes, nor yet the drudgery
Required to set it free; or any pain
It brings to my bent back and aching arms
That tug and struggle with the stubborn
Sodden things.

But, rather, let me see
The foam of seas, their far expanse
Of blue; a sail or two.
Or some snow-covered field, and I a child
With sled in hand; a laughing, happy band
Of children; gay as I.

Or let me see, perhaps, orange flowers
In my hair; a wedding veil, a winding stair.

Oh. God, I pray,
In these white suds, to see
Something more than drudgery!

THE AVE MARIA