There’s Nothing More Boring Than Hanging Out the Wash

29 Mar

Her mother made wet flags of clothes and hung them for the world to salute. Like paintings of her life they were. Pictures of her feet in cloth. Pictures of her legs and bottom with metal flashes. Buttons that gleamed like secret stars that only shone in the day time.

The clothes made moist flapping noises. They were seagulls skimming the waves with the tips of their wings. The poles creaked with the ghosts of a thousand-thousand washings. The line cracked like a whip when the breeze filled the towels with a sailor’s breath.

The sun peeked through the skipping garments. Soon they would smell of its gentle baking. The delicate aroma of sun and wind.

A spattering of rain made her mother rush out of the house with a shout. She snatched the clothespins off and attached the clothes to anything that could grab: hands, elbows, teeth, and chin. She hustled them inside like coughing children to a doctor.

Then her mother carefully folded the clothes and put them safely away. Like love letters.


3 Responses to “There’s Nothing More Boring Than Hanging Out the Wash”

  1. Jonathan Stark March 29, 2012 at 4:29 PM #

    Beautiful words.

  2. Adeline March 29, 2012 at 5:37 PM #

    If I could have my way, apartment buildings would have rooftop clothes lines. There is no better smell than wind-whipped sheets.

  3. SiouxP April 2, 2012 at 11:37 AM #

    You are amazing with words– a wizard a conjuror. How you are able to transport us back in time & yet there is such an immediacy to your stories. Not only do you remind us of the physical—hanging the wash out to dry, but the sensual –the sounds, the smells, the feel. It’s wonderful and a rare gift for us the grateful recepients. Love, Sioux. 🙂

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