P.C. Vandall


Spinning the Cycles


1. (Whites)


I sort laundry


every Sunday

so I can dump

clothes like sins,

drop everything

into a pile.

I separate the light

from the dark and heap

colorful ones aside.

I hold a baptism

in my washer

where I believe

Jesus is inside

carrying the burden,

lifting stains away

so I can take

a load off, rest

in the almighty

presence of being

clean and white as snow.



2. (Normal)


Sometimes when I wash the whites

I add baking soda, bleach,

pre-treat armpits and collars


with brightening toothpaste. I soak

socks with undies waiting for

the great white hope to alter


clothes a brighter shade of gray.

Sometimes, I want to throw in

the towel or some crotchless


panties with scarlet red bows

so everything could turn out

rosy and pink for a change.


3. (Permanent Press)

I'm at the Wash and Suds for the first time

in years and nothing's changed. I am down

to my last pair of knickers and knee socks,


things I'll need before daybreak. People drip

in last night's dander while pubic hair pools

in the warm shed of skin and sweat. I close


my eyes and recline in a coral peach

plastic chair. The air is humid, balmy

and tropical as a sun drenched seashore.


I breathe in the damp salt air, listen to

the whirring water and sigh in the smell

of human flesh mixing in with the Tide.


4. (Steam)

Behind the glass curtain of our washing

machine they whisper quietly, gurgle

and murmur in foamy whispers. Our clothes

are at it again, turned on and taking

risks without our consent or approval.


They're stripped of inhibitions, bubbling

in excitement. My blouse tumbles open

and your jeans unbutton. Clothes devour clothes,

twisting like vines, tangled up like blossoms

of a Kama Sutra lotus flower.


Your red tie becomes loose and slips under

my short skirt, laps up the slippery suds

from my thigh high stockings. My lace panties

rub up against your bulging blue boxers.


Clothes are being used, having flings that turn

them upside down and inside out. They beat

to a steal drum of their own, revolving

in the very fabric of their being.


When they come full circle, they lie breathless.

limp and drained in a heap. I want to come

clean with you, share the whole sordid affair.


5. (Hand wash)

Along the Ganges river banks

are a a rainbow of saris, sun

drying in branches, stiff along

the stone steps, weaving saffron,


Indigo and rubies through grass.

In the dark ribbons of water,

there's a woman in a parrot

green and blue peacock sari.


Her dress spreads like sea blue wings

hemmed in by emeralds and gold.

She wades among the boaters

and bathers, hair flowing in soft


river curls. Her eyelashes fan

open and her smoky gray eyes

circled in black kohl awakens

the spirit of the Mother.


Copyright  ©  2014 P.C. Vandall

Pamela C. Vandall is a Gabriola poet and writer who resides there with her husband and two children. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies and websites. She is the author of two chapbooks of poetry: “Something from Nothing” (Writing Knights Press) and “Woodwinds” (Lipstick Press). Pamela’s first full length poetry collection, Crows Taste Best on Toast is forthcoming this summer from Lady Lazarus Press. When Pamela is not writing, she's sleeping. She believes sleep is death without the commitment.