Ode to a Snow White Laundry

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by Lorey Miller

A few months ago, I read a front-page story in a local paper here in Carleton Place, featuring a story about the redevelopment of a downtown hotel. One of the owners mentioned that the Snow White Laundry was an "eyesore". The Snow White Laundry would win no prizes at an architectural beauty contest. However, something in what he said moved me to poetry. I just could not see this building as it stood, broken and derelict, but instead, what it stood for – for service and duty beyond the call.

I wrote this complete poem within the hour, and printed it out, walked it down to the building and with packing tape, under the cover of darkness, pasted it to the outside window. The only evidence of my being there were the letters LM at the bottom of the text. The Ode stayed posted outside for several weeks. I walked by one day to notice that someone, perhaps the owner, removed the Ode and instead placed it, facing outward, from inside the glass window. There it stayed, until that fateful day when payloader and muck-rake tore the building down.