Making Things Clean

Listen to Wes McNair Reading the Poem

Making Things Clean Initial Exploration
One would hardly recognize him like this
the high-school shop teacher, glasses off,
bent over the kitchen sink. Nearby,
house dresses and underpants flutter
in the window of the Maytag he bought
for his mother. Its groaning is the only
sound while she washes his hair,
lifting the trembling water in her hands
as she has always done, working foam up
from his gray locks like the lightest
batter she ever made. Soon enough,
glasses back on, he will stand
before students who mock his dullness;
soon, putting up clothes, she’ll feel
the ache of a body surrendering to age.
A little longer let him close his eyes
against soap by her apron, let her move
her fingers slowly, slowly in his way
the two of them have found to be together,
this transfiguring moment in the world’s
old work of making things clean.
Notebook Page 1
Transcript 1

Transitions and Structure
Notebook Page 2

Transcript 2

Endings and Line Breaks
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Transcript 3