The way mother folded
my clothes. What did I learn?
I still don’t know what I’m doing.
My hands could never be as good.
Eight years old, I’m with Mom at our laundromat,
a handful of quarters to keep us busy,
a gumball machine,
a knob that turns
a Snickers bar,
a can of store-brand root beer,
a little wrestler in his tiny plastic dome.
I pat my pockets
for a prayer card from my mother.
It lives there.
Today, a man in the rear works evenings
while I thumb prayers,
coins & sink into rhythm.
His hands chisel & chisel little curls off
slabs of wood.
Mother of God,
the man carves saints into this shape:
Guadalupe, Lupe, Guadalupe
I hum with care while he works
endlessly. He blows the sawdust away.
I’ve been waiting for my mother’s hands
to fold me all along.