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Hazel Baker Denton

Ironing Day

by Hazel Baker Denton

Thoughts While Ironing:  II

Ho, hum! . . . my day and Eleanor Roosevelt's. . . . I wonder how I'd feel in her shoes . . . or she in mine . . . the humming-bird, who has been an ever faithful early-morning caller at the four-o'clock bed, has perhpas flown to a bed of her second choice among flowers. . . . How I envy the mother who said to me the
other morning, "Daughter and I were just talking things over" . . . having a little or big daughter to bring her wee worries home would be sweet joy. . . . You are right, Mr. B----, there isn't anyting more important than an eight-year-old expecting his bicycle unless it's a fourteener trying to put new life into a junk-heap Ford. . . .     Culture in unexpected places: the NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW revealing its title above the frayed edge of the coat pocket of an unshaven, crippled derelict who asked me for a handout
yesterday morning. . . . Am certainly enjoying the washer I bought second-hand for little more than the war-in-Europe price of a pork roast. . . .


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Nevada Cottonwoods

(Written in protest after our village Mayor
and Council recommended that all
cottonwood trees be dug out or cut
down and replaced with the more
aristocratic "hardwoods")

Gnarled denizens of desert wastes,
Whose heat and sand
And bitter need of shade
You eased in toil and stress
Of towns newborn--
Deep as your roots
Must be your soul's contempt
For those whose love has died,
Your use outworn!

Take heart, young shoots, in canyon coolnesses,
Lost the while from man's ingratitude–
There still must come
From some far spot
Now groaning in the dust and misery
Of our ageless upward struggle to the stars,
Some youthful pioneer
Who'll plant and guard you tenderly
In his solitude.


Nine-Year-Old Boy-Scouting

The bathroom is neat as a pin,
Each towel on its personal rack.
As housekeeper rampant I grin.
Your bedroom's as neat as a pin!
But, honey, I miss you like sin.
Oh, please, king of chaos, come back!
The house is all neat as a pin,
But my poor lonely soul is a wreck.

Not For Sale

This is my home . . .
Long-loved retreat
Where young friends laugh
And old friends meet.
These sun-encrusted walls
Enclose the sun and sum
Of all my days.,

A rain-kissed garden tree
Extends great arms of sympathy;
It knows the way I've come
Through all the years and tears
To slow fruition.

The tinkling gate
Recalls the times
My working mate
Was late to tea . . .
Perhaps he stopped to buy for me
A candy bar, or new edition.

Each room resounds
With sounds of baby prattle,
The tap of tiny feet,
Of adolescent battle;
The notch upon the door
Records our first-born's height
When he was four.

Why tear apart these memories
Of Life's most sweeted treasuries?
Why change to scenes and fields untried,
To scale new walls unfortified?
This spot is mine
These whited walls
Enfold the sun and storm
Of all my days.

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