Laundry List

The saying goes, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” As a lifelong flea market frequenter and second-hand store shopper, those words ring ever so true for me.

When I was a girl, my eyes were often toward the ground as I traversed our neighborhood, searching for the Bazooka Joe Bubble Gum comics that I collected to redeem for prizes. If anything else remotely interesting caught my eye, I’d scoop that up, too. There were buttons that doubled as plates for my Malibu Barbie and crayon nubs that I made into candles for her romantic dinners with Live Action Ken. Pennies were always picked up, because back then you could still buy something for a single cent. Sparkly rocks, bits of hardware and plastic rings all made it into my collection. To the childhood me, everything was a treasure.

As it turns out, my youngest daughter shares that philosophy.


Laundry List

The washer stopped
with a buzzing sound;
I pulled out the clothes,
looked down, and found

  • a melted crayon
  • a whistle
  • a string
  • a barrette
  • a shoelace
  • a fake ruby ring
  • a marble
  • a button
  • a ball of lint
  • a foil wrapper from a restaurant mint
  • a hair tie
  • a pencil
  • a bottle cap
  • a shell
  • more string
  • a fabric scrap
  • a bit of ribbon
  • a couple beads
  • a piece of chain
  • sunflower seeds
  • a screw
  • a wire
  • a twisty tie
  • a penny
  • a pebble
  • a plastic fly
  • a bobby pin
  • an earring back
  • a safety pin
  • a rusty tack

all collected in
my washing machine,
scattered about
and sparkling clean.

I guess next time
laundry’s on the docket,
I first should check
my daughter’s pockets.


©2011 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz


6 thoughts on “Laundry List

  1. You make me smile again this morning Carlotta. Yes, as a fellow mother I’ve found quite a lot of those objects in the washer or melted in the dryer – not to mention the disposal.

  2. Wow, your dryer takes a beating, Carlotta. My favorite item is the plastic fly. I have a few of those myself, leftover from a client gag about 15 years ago. Can’t seem to part with them. And now that I know they don’t melt in the dryer, well, they are somehow even MORE valuable…

    • Plastic fly = true story. Although I’ve found these items in my washer, not my dryer, so I can’t vouch for the durability of the flies in the dryer. I do find many things that make it past the wash cycle and end up left in the dryer, though, as well. That’s probably a whole other poem…

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