Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Washing My Daughter’s Soiled Underwear in the Snow


No snow today,
just heavy frosting,
floating in large flakes
from trees
like glittering leaves.
I carry a steaming bucket
and choose a spot
behind the rangy filbert hedge.
A darkish turd nearby
implies the dog's assent
to the zoning.
The snow--rotten, granular--
feels like sand against the panties.
It's that time of year
time speeds up
or seems to
in its new wide-openness.
Scrub, rinse, squeeze.
Scrub, rinse, squeeze.
I do not count the incidents,
as I will in April, May,
but, in the thrall of this odd rhythm
appeal to time itself: Go easy,
give my girl a chance
to catch up.
Then I let my prayer go.
I let it run out
with the snow and brown water.
The blue and white
is beautiful
and I am glad to be out
in it.

Greta Anderson is a foster-adoptive mother living with her husband and 11-year-old daughter on an acreage in Iowa. Her poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review and other publications, and she has three books in the “More than Petticoats” series of remarkable women of the past.

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Hi, Greta... I'm an editor at Globe Pequot who has been trying like crazy to get in touch with you regarding your More Than Petticoats book - can you email me at Please excuse my leaving a comment here... your poem is beautiful.
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