Where My Mother Put Her Faith

LHL illustration 2.jpg

Illustration by Ashlyn Metcalf

When I was fourteen,

she’d spend her days in front

of the ironing board to keep

my father’s pockets tucked

with the crisp, white

handkerchiefs she’d press;

hours of devotion

in front of General Hospital.


The spike of her cigarette

burned flower stems of smoke

from the wide glass ashtray

stationed at the end of her board—


the glossy shift of sunlight

diffused through the half-drawn

drapes of the unwashed

living room window, an early twilight

and the hiss of hot iron

scorching the starched cotton flat—


the corners halved, pressed,

halved, pressed again

with the clean formality

of the iron’s sibilation,

the litany of:

fold hiss fold hiss fold hiss.

Lord have mercy.


LORRAINE HENRIE LINS is a Pennsylvania Poet Laureate in Bucks County and serves as the Director of New and Emerging Poets with Tekpoet. She is the author of a full-length book of poetry entitled, All the Stars Blown to One Side of The Sky (VAC Poetry) and two chapbooks. Her work appears in journals, anthologies and magazines both in print and online. Born and raised in the suburbs of Central New Jersey, this Jersey Girl now resides outside of Philadelphia with her family and several dogs, where she has learned to pump her own gas.

ASHLYN METCALF is an introvert, painter, creative writing nut, and artist. She studied art education at Northeastern State University and worked in education for 4 years. Moving towards painting full time felt natural although ‘a task difficult as hell’. Metcalf lives and paints in Tulsa, Oklahoma where the cicadas hum on summer nights.