Three Poems by

Mike McDermott

Just Three Shots


She shook her head imperceptibly

as she flipped through the catalog

looking at summer clothes as

the winter outside crystallized

on kitchen windows.  She was

not taken in by the beaches

or boardwalks where models

wore their wares in bright

colors of yellow and red.

She did not study the charts

showing the differences among

high-rise, mid-rise, bikini,

or just how relaxed the fit

could be during a long lazy day.

No, what she noticed was

an old familiar face, a model

she had seen over the years,

even as a cover girl on occasion,

now she was deep inside the book,

in just three shots, the polo

and tee spread, just three

shots.  Yes, she noticed the new wrinkle.

Hanging Laundry


You’re hanging the underwear wrong.

            Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk



Laundry.  Hanging clothes.

A mystery to most men.

A memory to most women.

A secret ritual, hidden

by necessity, offered

with a smile, “Sure,

you can help hang

some clothes on the line.”

Knowing full well

the ignorance of how

to hang underwear.

Remembering Them of Another Time


She remembered them of another time

sitting on the front porch snapping beans,

or at the kitchen table talking over coffee,

or cleaning the house, head in a

closet, bent over with large backside,

sticking out of the open door, draped

with one of their dresses, belted, short

sleeved, down to their knees, just

hiding stockings rolled above

held precariously but somehow held

with old worn out elastic bands.


She remembered them of another time

and thought of their clucking

judgments never stated, just a look

across a bowl, an eye outside a cup

raised to catch the last dregs,

a sure knowing of what's right and wrong.

Mike McDermott has a chapbook Reluctant Care, poems in Bourgeon (online) phoebe, Minimus, and others, and an MFA from George Mason University.