Ninety degrees Fahrenheit
(free solar energy),
Drying breeze from the south
(free wind generation),
Mother and teenage daughter
(free muscle power with occasional grumbling attached).
A basket of wet clothes,
a bag of recycled wooden clothes pins,
two lines of white plastic cord stretched 20 feet between posts
and a little bit of time.
Hanging clothes outdoors won't slow global warming;
it is indeed a selfish act.
Who can resist a night's sleep
with the smell of wind-dried sheets
and drying off with bath towels line-snapped rough?
dish rags sun-bleached
bras dangling like empty shells
socks mismatched in a row.
Usually closeted truths and dares
hang for all to see and bear witness
without need for xray vision;
no hidden agendas, no wondering "briefs or jocks"
no wondering about sizes or shapes or undercover secrets.
Return in the late afternoon as a thunder shower threatens
to undo the dry cycle, piling loads of freshness in our arms,
clasping eight, ten, twelve clothespins in one hand
in a clean sweep to see who can hold the most the fastest.
If only our personal laundry basket
overflowing with sweaty muddy moldy yucky stuff
could be so simply transformed
in an afternoon of sweet breezes,
purifying light and open scrutiny.
Then we could sleep so much better tonight knowing the truth:
The Lord washes and dries,
folds and softens the dirty laundry
we dare to keep hidden from view.
Once stretched between the poles, pinned up for all to see,
We rest now in His basket of renewal,
a clean sweep of freshness gathered up in His arms
before the storm rips us loose,
flinging us helpless back into the mud.
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