Wednesday, May 25, 2022

ALMONTE ONTARIO

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Arts & CultureOde to a Snow White Laundry

Ode to a Snow White Laundry

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.

 

 

Old walls, once freshly painted

Now dust covered and faded

Soon to be consigned to the heap of dust

You’ve washed out, over time

 

Today, you are called an eyesore,

But, to a humble patron,

With cane and cataracts

You were a sight for sore eyes!

 

For those, whose fortunes were not great

You did not judge, you did not take

Great profit from your toil

Removing surl and soil

Instead, you welcomed gladly

All of those, their fortunes badly

Did serve them all so sadly

Did make for them a sorry state

 

You turned to your work and toiled

Turned all those garments that were soiled

To bright and new again

Dignity and self respect attained

Council now, has spoken

Your back will finally be broken

Not worth more than just a token

Like those pushed inside your washer’s slots

 

Cornering Beckwith and Lake

Your walls soon will shake

With jackhammer, payloader and rake

And, all will be forgotten

 

From all of those who linger

For a moment longer, and wait

And remember that you were there for them

They thank you, and abate.

 

L.M.

 

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