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Janet Brice Parker

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Disdainful Difference
by Janet Brice Parker

Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Janet Brice Parker
•  Southern Snowfall
•  Excess
•  Bamboo Swing
•  Choosing Joy
•  Painful Distance
           >> View all 138

I watch Agnes on a summer afternoon.
My focus is on sleek repetitive movements
of the iron.
Translucent steam rises from droplets
of shaken water.

The Coca-Cola bottle, a fixture on the ironing board.
A misty filter floats around Agnes’ face
giving her a soft uninterpreted look.

I admire Agnes’ fine boned golden hands
as they lift and spread sweet linens.
She presses heat into cloth’s creases and wrinkles.
She smoothes and creates beauty from chaos.

I savor the sound of steam like rain on parched dry pavement.
I inhale clean fabric enhanced by the drying in the sun.

Agnes, in her slow Negro dialect relates tales of her childhood.
I want to make dolls out of corn cobs and dried shucks.
I don’t want to have things, like the Madame Alexander doll
that sits on a shelf.

I see beads of sweat forming on Agnes’ forehead.
She picks up her glass of sweet tea and holds it to her face.
“Ahhh.” she offers a sound of relief.

Southern colors of the day end and at night the soft breezes
knows no difference as they blow from one side of town to the other.


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Reviewed by Kate Burnside 4/30/2006
STUNNING!! Janet, I feel that what I have read of yours of late is maturing like a wonderful vintage wine... so much perceptible increase in depth, colour, warmth, energy, vibrancy... can't actually quite put a finger on it, but you are becoming a true Master with words as you are with paints and other media. This canvas lives and breathes in so few lines but sketches out and captures a whole world of duality in existance. Totally awed. Am keeping. TY and bless you - and thank you so, so much for thinking of me. Hope you are bearing up with your ailing mother, too. LOL Kate xx
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 4/28/2006
It is easy to be drawn into the ambiance created by your verses here, Janet. Thank you for sharing this gift. Love and peace to you,

Reviewed by jude forese 4/27/2006
perceptively wonderful verse, Janet ...
Reviewed by J. Allen Wilson 4/27/2006
Janet, I truly loved this wonderful and remarkable piece here for it brought back the memories of “Hattie” I remember she ruled our house with an iron fist of discipline, but was always there when you needed her in a time of trouble. I remember one time when a couple of rowdy older boys blew into the area to visit friends of theirs and somehow or another that day I wound up about to get my tail whooped by these boys…well that was until Hattie saw what was going on…you know, them boys never did come back around…wonder why? She always said…”Nobody gonna mess with my little man…nobody” thanks for the memories through this write.
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 4/27/2006
Another marvelous 'slice of life' piece from your gifted pen, Janet.
Reviewed by William Bonilla 4/26/2006
A beautiful presentaion
well penned
thanks for sharing

Love & Peace
Reviewed by Pamela Kimmell 4/26/2006
What a wonderful certainly brings back a LOT of similar memories for me although my Mom was the one ironing, not someone else. I can smell the fresh smell of the iron on the clothes though and she also used a coke bottle of water to sprinkle the clothes with water. What a wonderful memory........thanks for sharing yours and reminding me of mine!
Reviewed by Felix Perry 4/26/2006
Janet this is an interesting write for two reasons first the images of old south are very striking, sort of the little Mistress of the plantation but the second and so wonderfully hinted at by the title is the distain and the desire for equality that seems to be introduce by the love this child has for the women doing the ironing. Wonderful write.

Reviewed by George Jackson 4/26/2006
Wonderful write.
Reviewed by Andre Bendavi ben-YEHU 4/26/2006

Beautiful composition filled with the energy of harmony and care...
"Disdainful Difference" brings the light of understanding, and glows
its message of humanity.

I salute You, Poet!

Andre Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 4/26/2006
Ironing and corn-cob dolls? Must be getting back to her roots. That'll work. I can close my eyes and smell the smell of an iron on fabric. No other smell quite like that smell.
Reviewed by E T Waldron 4/26/2006
Superb poem Janet. Your keen perceptions always brings fresh meaning to your topics. Good to have you back!;-)

Reviewed by F William Broome 4/26/2006
Thank you for this one. Many was the time when my Mother, or the Cook-maid-cleaniner-sitter-plus, did these things with linesns and clothes. Her devoted touch of class, made my Mother's worth watching. it was a great show to see and hear, "Roberta" click things along with iron and water for smoothing out the clothes.
A masterful recapping of good ole times at home with my childhood.
= Bill

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