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Jan 2019
Mangle, the word alone indicates destruction.
the mutilation of an object until it is unrecognizable,
like the hands of maids in the 1800s.
The mangle has become a symbol of the working class.

An overpopulated, but unheard society.
Forced to work twelve hour days,
running at the whim of the wealthy,
unspoken and underpaid.

Diligently they worked,
sweat dripping from their brows as they scrubbed
the oil from the fabric and their hands,
washing away the filth from previous days.

Two heavy wooden rollers tightly aligned,
crushing spirits of the working class.
Wringing them dry like the sheet on wash day,
torturously expelling water from the already beaten cloth.

Buttons crushed under the intensity of pressure.
Hope dampened at the first attempt,
subjected to a second, if not third round of torture.
Only to accidentally leave an undesired crease.

A dangerous job meant for two,
hindered by the unraveling of a loose thread.
Forced to repeat the process again and again,
until finally, they reach perfection.

I can only imagine the history passed down
through the decades.
Put on display and overlooked
by a generation overwhelmed by technology.

The mangle is now a decoration piece from Grandma,
used as a table to support my coffee.
Its story, like the linen it so helplessly crushed,
a memoir of the working class.
The mangle is an antique washing machine used in the 1800s, if you don't know what it is, I encourage you to look it up :)
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