Ace Shirt Laundry

Written by: ilene bauer

My grandpa owned a laundry
And my father worked there, too.
A visit from the owner’s kids
Nobody thought taboo.

We rode up on the laundry carts
With giant sacks of clothes.
The workers never seemed to mind – 
They couldn’t, I suppose.

The best thing was the Coke machine – 
My grandpa had the key,
Which he would use to grab a soda,
Ice-cold, just for me.

I’d place that bottle in the slot;
The cap would click and drop.
I’d gulp that Coca Cola (free!)
And never want to stop.

Though years have passed, I close my eyes
And conjure up that place – 
The smell of bleach, the burlap bags,
My grandpa giving chase.

It’s strange how we can focus
On some memories so clear,
While others seem, without a trace,
To up and disappear.

That laundry had a child’s allure.
A visit was a treat;
And thinking of it now, I smile,
The recollection sweet.