At the coin laundry after work

We all want to live the dream someday… No matter what though, be happy for what you have and love each day.

 

At the coin laundry after work

 

The coins spew out of the dispenser,

hitting the iron as if I had just won the lottery.

But I haven’t. I stand in shorts and worn Nikes

with sweat falling like rain down my face.

 

My brown, cracked hands touch the cold coins

That give me a second of relief from the heat

as I walk over to machine number sixteen.

I transfer my myriad of colors to the hungry silver

 

That begins to twirl the pieces of me in its mouth.

I begin to walk when I see a pregnant woman

Of about twenty struggle with her own laundry

while a child of three years drops the heavy green pouch.

 

Señor, puede ayudarme con esta locura

She says to me with drooping grocery bags

Under her wide green eyes that still held

Years of youth beneath the stress of motherhood.

 

I put her laundry into the wash and then paid

For her load saying that we Hispanics

Have to sit together. Necesitamos

Ayudar a nuestra gente en el mundo.

 

Her child, with marshmallow white teeth

Looks up and smiles with gleaming blue eyes

At me, as if I had just given a gift on Christmas.

The mother gives him two coins to play Galaga.

 

I walk over past the cool coca cola machine,

Taunting me with its contents that could

Relive me of all the heat from the outside

With its sugary fizz that would wet my throat.

 

I sit back on the lone chair next to the dusty

Dirty foggy window that sits in front of my

busy machine. Soap drips in front of the glass

offering me a brief second of serenity.

 

A homeless man can be heard begging

Outside. I close my eyes as the washer

Starts to rattle and rotate faster and I dream

Of the day I can say I own a washer at home.

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