Clothes on the Line

Not in winter when ice
froze cotton to pins and the hands
turned ruby, raw with ache
from the chill,

but in autumn and spring,
and especially in summer
when the sun was ceding
to squall.

When the wind whipped the sheets
into great cracks and pops
and all of us ran
to bring the laundry in

before the first pelting rain
could fall. The smell of towels
fluffed with fresh air, and linens
wearing nature’s perfume,

even my father’s rough jeans…
The remembered scents of clothes
on the line recall the excitement
of outrunning the storm.

Come December, I’m ever so glad
for my dryer, but even then,
when I’m feeling too fragile
to hang clothes out on the line,

I reach for a random pin
and give it a face, red trousers,
black boots,  a trace of gold
for buttons and brass,

then I add it to the growing battalion
of soldiers consigned to a shelf,
nevermore to pin clothes
on the line.


7 thoughts on “Clothes on the Line

  1. What a charming poem, Sarah! Hanging clothes out is one of my favorite things – when the weather cooperates. Perhaps becoming part of your ‘growing battalion’ is a kind of graduation/promotion for those ‘random’ pins. 🙂 XO ♥

    1. Many thanks, Francina,

      I just tried to access Seasons and was not able to. I will try through google. It is possible my favorites link has become corrupted.

      It is so good to see your smiling face!!


  2. Jane Thorne

    I love this poem and dear Sarah, there is nothing quite like the smell of clothes dried in nature’s breeze….and I also love the thought of clothes pegs being given a new lease of life decorated on the windowsill. Hugs my lovely, ❤ Xxx

  3. Thanks, Jane,

    We have had a couple of sunny days in a row, and that has led me to think of clothes on the line.

    As children, my sisters and I spent many a rainy day making wooden soldiers from clothes pegs.

    Thanks for the visit!!


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