The washer and dryer lurch
on the other side of the wall
at the desk where I come to write.
They rattle and thump and sing,
the wild Picasso dancing
off its hook above me.
I stare at the pulsating whiteness
of sheetrock, trying to dismiss
laundry as a matter of fact,
two machines shaking with the
necessity of keeping house,
not some ghost seeking exorcism,
not the tumblings of my own mind
with all these words trapped inside,
not the muse knocking for admission,
but just an old washing machine,
half-broken and squeakier with every load,        
its frantic rhythm not a raging heartbeat,
not the permanent press of love making,
but just a  toneless song to move my pen to,
thinking now of cycles and rinsing
and spinning, and of the plumber's
resigned drawl on his last visit:
"Don't wanna mess with it -
it might stop gone round altogether."

Nina Riggs