Washing the Blankets

By Kimberly L. Becker

After your fever breaks

and you’re headed back to school,

I strip your bed

to wash the residue of flu.

Pillowcases, sheets, blankets

all heaped into the wash.

I think of other blankets,

other outcomes.

Add bleach to the load.

Aim to get the blankets white, white, white.


First published in Crab Creek Review, Summer 2009
© Kimberly L. Becker

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kimberly L. Becker is a member of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers & Storytellers. Her poetry appears in many journals and anthologies, such as Diverse Voices Quarterly, Future Earth Magazine, I Was Indian (FootHills), Pemmican, Platte Valley Review, and Poets and Artists. Finalist for the DeNovo Award (C&R Press), she received a FY10 grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (MD) to study Cherokee language, history, and culture in Cherokee, NC. Current projects include adapting Cherokee myths into plays for Cherokee Youth in Radio Project at the Cherokee Youth Center in Cherokee, NC.

Words Facing East (WordTech Editions, 2011) is her first book of poetry.
Visit her website at www.kimberlylbecker.com
"We have stories / as old as the great seas / breaking through the chest / flying out the mouth, / noisy tongues that once were silenced, /all the oceans we contain / coming to light."
—Linda Hogan