Anne Rouse: Man Ironing
Sunday night, you pick up an iron in a cold room.
It hisses, and long Lethe-vapours roll
over Monday’s wraith, that crude welter of creases.
Next morning, though, the white shirt preens,
relieved of angles, endowed with you,
hurrying off to the manager’s chat, the phone’s peremptory.
Almost, you could be anyone, until you climb
the muffled stairs; strip down to the bleached
teeshirts of your youth. We embrace, and return.
Anne Rouse was a Royal Literary Fund Visiting Writing Fellow at Glasgow University (2000-2) and Queen’s University, Belfast (2004-5). The Upshot: New and Selected Poems was published by Bloodaxe in 2008.