Ironing with Isaiah

An altar cloth covers the ironing board
As the priestess of perfection sets to work
Getting rid of creases, to and fro
In seemingly monotonous repetition
Of motion over and over, back and forth
Making rugged places plain
Including our own.  

But not yet to satisfaction
As the sizzler whistles, blowing off steam
Chugging ahead of its cord
Dragging a train of voltage behind
Feeding power along the track
Making crooked places straight
In a night time gown.
 
Still not enough, so up and down
With a baptismal sprinkling over the fabric
Turning up the heat with the rheostat,
Mountains made low and valleys exalted
A highway for our God constructed
Neither stiff nor starchy
And with the no entry sign taken down.
 
Yesterday’s wash becomes today’s ironing
And there’ll be more tomorrow
For the metal machine to ply its way
Over the linen in what seems sheer humdrum
Hardly needed in these days of drip-dry,
But the Glory of the Lord appears
Out of creases, wrinkle and frown.
 
June 2011
 
Thoughts on Isaiah 40 while watching Margaret doing the ironing.