A new poem by Mary Coll
The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity Magdalene Laundry. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire
My grandfather sent everything to the nuns
for a thorough cleaning,
including my mother.
Fervently they washed away every stain,
hold us up to the light,
and there is hardly a trace of me left in her,
or her left in me.
Things are forever getting separated in the wash,
a fawn silk stocking,
a tiny pink sock with no matcher,
the price to be paid for getting your laundry done.
Mary Coll’s poem is from her recent collection Silver (Arlen
House). Her first collection was All Things Considered (Salmon)