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Beginning Again

She could not recall
ever having ironed
while angry before,
but how cathartic
to push hot metal hard
against the soft cotton shirt
with its pretty pattern,
clusters of muted cherries;
to be startled
by the metallic groaning
of the ironing board
as it gave way beneath her resolve,
then straightened itself again;
to hear the sigh of steam escaping,
echoing her own deep-dredged
breaths of ragged frustration;
and how satisfying
to solve the only problem
the cloth had—wrinkles
after a washing;
to know she would get over
the stomach-sunken despair as soon
as the shirt was smooth
and his hand was touching
the still-warm fabric at her back
as they walked out into the world
to begin again,
while the iron,
cooled in the quiet room.

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