Home from Work – Ginger Murchison

Ginger Murchison

—after “Day’s End,” Jackson Mississippi, 1930s, a photograph by Eudora Welty

Like what they said was freedom,
she barely moves forward
on the muggy-afternoon Mississippi concrete
in somebody’s untied army boots,
the right one over-run, dragging
her whole right side into an end-of- day droop,
to keep family together in a dime-store
dress tied at her throat, a sweater
the shape of the ache in her shoulders,
her hat not nearly enough
for the late slant of sun on that side of town
where she cleans dishes she can’t sit down to
and toilets she’s not allowed to use.
She must have picked the fabric with daisies
for her apron, hand sewn, pocked with holes,
so at least when her eyes fell she would see
something that looked like something
God made—tiny flowers with faces
that looked back

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