Pressing on

My grandmother taught me to iron
how to bend and shuffle a blouse
around the ironing board’s broad nose
how to insinuate the heat and steam
into a ruffled edge, hold down a pleat,
tame a collar. Lesson coveted at boot
camp as we set to perfect creases
and seams. The marks were complicated
enough, but once pressed in, a dungaree
shirt became a recruit’s dream. Each
item of clothing had a required fold, 
a set spot on the locker’s shelf, a line
on the edge and the lip. Each folding
was origami-like in perfection and with


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