TITLE: Hanging on a Line
By Heidi Wallenborn
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Warm wind puffs,
lifts damp hair off my neck,
swirls shirts around my body.
Sleeves cling to my sweaty arms
while lifting linen to a clothesline
then secured with orange pegs.
If not for that breeze
the hot would oppress
with its humid breath.
I think of women who have gone before--
those who hung laundry in other climes:
sticky tropical, dusty desert, verdant hills.
I picture time-worn faces;
cracked and defined by age and fickle weather,
circumstances and life.
I imagine gnarled hands that grip
lids of jars of harvested peaches and apricots--
then put clothes and sheets on lines in the sun.
As I ponder, black clouds break open;
the wind shifts like a compass needle
and hot rain thunders down on freshly laundered shirts.
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