PoetryIssue 07 | November 2009

Senora Filo’s Washing Machine

by Greta Bolger

Before, if he slept too late or broke
her favorite plate, or looked too long
at some chica in the square,
it made her want to slap him
between her palms like a tortilla.

Instead, she slapped his work pants
on a concrete pila at the public laundry,
nicking her knuckles, rubbing soft cloth
to the rythmn of amigas’ voices
splashing in the morning mist.

Side by side, they pummeled stain and stink,
grinding out grievances, calling out jokes
to drown the sting of careless children,
cruel men, the dirt of daily life, then bore
wet bundles home to hang in the forgiving sun.

Senor bought the machine to make her happy.
“Now she’s mad at me all the time,”
he tells his amigos over mescal, 
his worn clothes clean and bright
as he mounts the pickup in the fading light.

About the author

Greta Bolger is a writer and photographer making the most of life in Michigan. Her recent publications include photography in The Raven Chronicles and Blue Print Review, and poetry in Contemporary Haibun Journal, Eclectica, and Juice Box.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok