On Evening Walks

Every night my way home takes me
past houses running the dryer,
blowing warm laundry sheet smell
into the calm night. Most scents
exist in any state and can be bought
in small boxes with pictures of bears
or clotheslines in the mountains
anchored by a magical force
holding sheets in the clean wind.
There is one other smell of dry clothes
that I believe is better than the others.
We make it right here in Kansas
when children begin to quiet down,
and mothers stand by the screen door
with their mouths close to the bug guard
blowing cigarette smoke. I smell
their burdens leaving and sense
those tough moments kaleidoscope
into smaller pieces over the town.



About the Poet:
Matthew David Manning is an English instructor at Pittsburg State University (PSU) in the Intensive English Program. Matthew holds degrees in creative writing from Arizona State University and PSU. His poetry has appeared various publications including I-70 Review, Red Paint Hill, Rust + Moth, Kansas Time + Place, and Chiron Review. Website: www.mattwritenow.com



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