“Why do you do that?” she asked
as I flipped the towel end to end
in its final fold. “Do what?”
I asked, but was pretty sure I knew.
“Why do you fold the towels in half
then in half again on the same axis,
instead of half, half in perpendicular
and then half again?”
“I dunno, is it important?” I said
and began wondering why, too.
Maybe I do it for the same reason
I fold tee shirts like they do
in the store, bottom to top,
flip in arms, fold right, fold left.
I other words, I didn’t know why.
But I knew it was important
HOW to my shrunken soul, which I
drape on a stiff plastic hanger
that has foam rubber along its bar
and on each shoulder, lest
spiritual me slip off and become lost,
once again forgotten, in the dark
back corner of my heart’s closet.
I flip-flip-flipped another towel
onto the pile, careful I’d precisely
squared its corners with one another.
“You’re right,” I said. “It’s really
not important, as long as the laundry’s
clean and neat.” “No, I just wondered,”
she said, heading upstairs with an armful
of conflicted terrycloth compulsions.