Volume 16:1, January 2015
To My Laundress
Saponacea, wert thou not so fair
I’d curse thee for thy multitude of sins–
For sending home my clothes all full of pins,
A shirt occasionally that’s a snare
And a delusion, got, the Lord knows where,
The Lord knows why, a sock whose outs and ins
None knows, nor where it ends nor where begins,
And fewer cuffs than ought to be my share.
But when I mark thy lilies how they grow,
And the red roses of thy ripening charms,
I bless the lovelight in thy dark eyes dreaming.
I’ll never pay thee, but I’d gladly go
Into the magic circle of thine arms,
Supple and fragrant from repeated steaming.
Journalist, poet, short story writer and satirist, Ambrose Bierce (June 24, 1842 - 1913?) lived in DC from 1899 through 1913. Although usually associated with San Francisco, Bierce lived in this city for the last 15 years of his known life, where he completed his Devil's Dictionary (1911) and word usage compendium Write It Right (1909). Bierce served in the Union Army during the Civil War, then worked as a journalist for the San Francisco Examiner. He published 12 books; he is perhaps best remembered for his short story, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." In October 1913, he left DC for a tour of his old Civil War battlefields, then traveled to Mexico to observe Pancho Villa's army during the Mexican Revolution. He was never heard from or seen again. To read more about this author: "A Good Opinion of Bierce" by M.A. Schaffner (Forebears Issue, Summer 2008)