The Line

The Line

Who’s to say why a modern girl

Should be so moved

By socks on a line,

Bath towels damp and clothespinned,

Dancing like old friends on a parquet floor

Swinging like children on rusty monkey bars


Who will unfold the reasons

She opens inside out

At the sight of a white polyester fitted sheet

Billowing and blowing full of Costa Rican breeze –


Why she inhales more deeply,

Or stands more quietly,

In the presence of the mundane,

Fabric doing what fabric must do,

Under the midday sun.


Who can explain

The rushing river of abundance

In stretching out a task






About the pleasure of being spun clean

And sundried slow.


About the joy of hanging by a thread,

Old underwear flung against the clouds

For all the world to see.


And! the crisp harmonic contrast:

What our hands have made


What His hands have made.


Who’s to say, really,

That she shouldn’t just stay

A few minutes more --

Arms long and loose –

In a


standing still moment


Old-fashioned awe

Of laundry on a line.