Wash Pot

Poetry by R.R. Setari

Wash Pot
Photo by David Martin / Unsplash

by R.R. Setari

She said it was a wash pot,
Left from the days her own grandmomma took in folks’ laundry,
Boiled they sheets and baby clothes.
Large and iron and flaking rust on the bottom,
Out in the field to fill with rain water
And flood water
On nights when the Lord wasn’t willing
And the creek did rise.
We filled it with sweet gum balls, cedar cones,
Needles from the long leaf pine
To trouble and bubble and say words from a Scottish play we ain’t never seen
And never gonna see.
We scooped in gray green potion water from the swell and make believe
We be sea witches
Til our momma called us in to wash our hands of the algae bloom.
And we asked big momma why the wash pot ain’t get used any more.
The water got too high, too muddy, too thick.
No matter how much you scrubbed and boiled,
Those baby clothes never again came away clean.