clothes pin songs

they carry it along 
in their pinch and sway,
the way the breeze flaps 
in bloomers and secrets. 

we sing along, wistful 
while we work, hanging 
out between a knot of sparrows 
and a curious sky. 

when the basket’s full 
(of sun-spilled warmth, 
of laughter), we count our 
ever-afters and pull them down 

to earth. this is the birth 
of a new day, this is the way 
that butterscotch light bleeds
through our fingers, a dance 

of tree skeleton shadows on 
linen and lace. this is the face 
of morning, the grace of new be
-ginnings and still-starched hope. 

It’s time for Poetics over at dVerse, and I’m hosting. Come play!

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37 Responses to clothes pin songs

  1. Oh I love the way you present the lovely process of a clothesline, and then back to earth… laundry as a rebirth of the dawn of a new day.

  2. This is stunning. That smell of sunshine – nothing better than line-dried laundry.

    • whimsygizmo says:

      Thanks so much, Sarah. My memories of it are patchy, and very old. But my gran’s wrinkled hands with the old-fashioned kind of clothespins are in there, and I’m grateful.

  3. kim881 says:

    I so enjoyed your clothes pin songs, De, being someone who only dries washing on a line or a clothes rack. You’ve got a lovely rhythm going in this poem, too, which is like the breeze flapping in bloomers and secrets. I love the idea od ‘hanging out between a knot of sparrows and a curious sky’ and the basket full ‘of sun-spilled warmth’.

    • whimsygizmo says:

      Thanks, Kim. I envy that ability, a little. We live in the desert, and the wind would dusty-up that line full of duds in no time.

      • kim881 says:

        I can’t imagine living in a desert. but I’d love to find out. It’s green and damp here, and mostly chilly, although the weather is better at the moment.

  4. Ingrid says:

    You managed to convey a sense of joy in hanging out the washing here, and it’s true we should delight in the beauty of the everyday. I love your closing lines:
    ‘the grace of new be
    -ginnings and still-starched hope.’ – I can smell the fresh linen! I also loved your short poem which you included with the prompt 🙂

  5. sanaarizvi says:

    Such a gorgeous, gorgeous write, De! 😀 I so love the “still-starched hope,” in the end. 💝💝 The emotions in this are palpable!

  6. Beverly Crawford says:

    I think Covid has pretty much taken the starch out of hope. So many directions we could have gone with this challenge. I sort of wanted to do a jabberwockian sort of word salad, but thought better of it.

  7. Grace says:

    This is fabulous De. I can hear the sing song of the verses. My favorites parts are 4 and 5 stanzas. Cheers to mornings of new beginnings !

  8. Ron. says:

    Airily awesome, De. I haven’t even seen a clothesline in ages. (Even though we’re up here in the country, all of our roads are dirt, so hanging out wet wash only means more washing will need doing.)

    And thanks for the great prompt!

  9. Great use of metaphor, especailly ‘still-starched hope’. Well done.

  10. You painted the scene beautifully!

  11. kaykuala h says:

    this is the face of the morning, the grace of new
    beginnings and still-starched hope

    The expected returns of the responsible housewife to all her sacrifices are most welcomed by all in the household. Thanks for the prompt De!


  12. Marie Elena says:

    Oh my word, De. I want your brain. Your eyes. ❤

  13. Oh my gosh- I love butterscotch light De! The whole poem unfolds so beautifully.

  14. You’ve created a beautiful metaphor.

  15. merrildsmith says:

    Oh, I love this! It’s so full of such beautiful images, and lovely and fun language–and such a wonderful message of “still-starched hope” at the end!

  16. “bloomers and secrets” “still-starched hope”

    This is a hopeful, and lovely poem, De!

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