laundry mats are lonely places

filled with old men


not a smile in the room

there is nothing more humbling

than airing your dirty laundry in public

these little squads of countryless soldiers

fighting the tears

of defeat

at the hands of time

cleaning old rags

and hurrying home to nothing

it is quieter than a library

washing folding

a brief victory

until next week

it breaks my heart

and makes me smile when no one is looking

to be one of them ...