I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by writing and reading poetry, every day.
My goal is to write a poem a day for each day of the month of April.
For writing inspiration, I decided to write from a list I made last month of 30 things that make me happy. One each day of the month.
Today, day five, tea towels.
The first tea towel I ever used was a flour sack towel. The softest, whitest, cleanest towel dried quickly and lint free. Not to be confused with a hand towel or a bar towel, a tea towel has so many uses and a fascinating history. Read a bit about it here.
My mother called them dish towels; she had a drawer full of these fine white towels. She used one every evening to dry the dishes. Before she turned off the kitchen light, she’d drape it over a metal rack to dry for the next day. I wish I had thought to get her collecting them. Just as she did silver spoons and tea cups.
Now I have a drawer full. Some simple, some fancy. Last week I bought a set of four for my girl’s first home of her own.
she called a dish towel,
utilitarian and simple
a coveted collection in the late 1800s
a medium for flour and sugar marketers
a canvas used by Van Gogh
a secret message sewn into a jacket
a place to develop embroidery skills
a tool to polish, dry, mop, wipe, wrap,
cover, crisp, strain, protect, pad, decorate
a tradition to pass down
lives on in my kitchen
destined to drudgery,
draped over my shoulder,
always at the ready
to clean what need be
2 thoughts on “tea towels”
I, too, have a collection. My favorite one, saved from mom’s collection, which I never use (but should because when am I ever going to get to look at it if it stays in my cedar chest) is the calendar towel from 1960. My birth year.
I finally found your post(s) again, Julianne! This is a lovely one. I have all kinds, but the special ones kept from an aunt who made them & embroidered on them, too. I think they were beloved kitchen things in years past. How lovely that you wrote your poem about them.