Resident Sheila is always a regular at Hallgarth Care Home Poetry Club, and thinks 'A Clothesline Poem' by Marilyn K. Walker is very good and very true.
Sheila says that when her washing was hung out to dry it got a special freshness, especially the bed sheets, and the whites were always whiter and crisper when there was a little nip in the wind.
Having tried origami many years ago, she set about making a mini-clothes line inspired by the poem, and surprised herself at how easy it was to make little clothes from a square of paper, following instructions on the home's iPad. A little example of technology helping to recreate the past, resulting in a lovely piece of work for Sheila.
Read the full text of the poem below:
A Clothesline Poem
by Marilyn K. Walker
A clothesline was a news forecast, to neighbors passing by.
There were no secrets you could keep, when clothes were hung to dry.
It also was a friendly link, for neighbors always knew,
If company had stopped on by, to spend a night or two.
For then you'd see the fancy sheets and towels upon the line;
You'd see the company tablecloths, with intricate design.
The line announced a baby's birth, to folks who lived inside,
As brand new infant clothes, were hung so carefully with pride.
The ages of the children, could so readily be known
By watching how the sizes changed, you'd know how much they'd grown.
It also told when illness struck, as extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe too, haphazardly were strung.
It also said "Gone on vacation now", when lines hung limp and bare.
It told "We're back!" when full lines sagged, with not an inch to spare.
New folks in town were scorned upon, if washing was dingy grey,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows, and looked disgustedly away.
But clotheslines now are of the past, for dryers make work much less,
Now what goes on inside a home, is anybody's guess.
I really miss that way of life; it was a friendly sign,
When neighbors knew each other best, by what was hanging on the line.
Date published: 20 May 2019
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