Emily Franklin


Emily Franklin’s debut poetry collection Tell Me How You Got Here was published by Terrapin Books in 2021. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Guernica, New Ohio Review, Cincinnati Review, Blackbird, and The Rumpus among other places as well as featured on National Public Radio and named notable by the Association of Jewish Libraries. Her novel Becoming Isabella, based on the life of Isabella Stewart Gardner, is forthcoming from Godine Books.



I do not mind how my son asks me  to switch his laundry from the washer over to the dryer—he has  the skills to start the load himself and has gotten his shit enough together that in a year he will likely leave my house which is the right thing, the act we are supposed to aim for to support even though it feels twisted as the pant legs and towels damp and defeated out of the  wash and of course I want him to be able to be elsewhere and moving wet clothing he gathered himself as though picking through a sad garden  of dirty things and I am reminded in the damp dryer heat of visiting my grandparents in their Florida condo and how beloved I felt in that warm palmy stucco not only with them but surrounded by old people who thought I was wonderful, that just by being young I was also beautiful and carried no shame and how that hot damp followed each step from the tiled pool to their orange doorway, marigold bright because why not it was the end and they knew it was the end and after a long day of doing pretty much nothing I would sit with their loving saggy bodies and play cards or do the laundry, the machine rumbling sounds of pure joy at being used and filled with clothing youthful with hope the way my son’s sweatshirt now is free of his nosebleed, the grime of his job, and I want to slump into the heat of the tiny room  where everything is clean, is warm, is possible.