The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Washtub By The Stove

By Carl "Skinny" Rowland © 1989

Issue: December, 1989

Now some things are fixed solid,
in the memories of the past,
and one such weekly episode,
of my childhood will last.

It mostly happened to me,
the first thing in the morning,
my mother got me out of bed,
and never gave me any warning.

Now if the room was cold and drafty,
one thing for sure was hotter,
that doggoned washtub on the floor,
clear filled up with water.

And on the bench beside the tub,
was a bar of old brown soap,
and if I thought she might wash clothes,
a bath towel killed that hope.

And clean clothes there were hanging,
on the backside of a chair,
some overalls and shirt and socks,
and some trapdoor underwater.

Now she'd sit me right down in the tub,
no way could I squirm free,
She'd just grab the soap and washrag,
and go to work on me.

And all my screaming protests,
and tears were no avail,
and she rinsed the soap all off my head,
with the water pail.

But then she'd get me dressed,
by the ovens warming heat,
and put me at the kitchen table,
where I would sit and eat.

Then she'd comb my messed up hair,
and send me out to play,
and it was over one more time,
the dreaded bath on Saturday.