Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Clothesline

It’s sweet nostalgia
come to visit me today
bringing me to Brooklyn streets
and brownstones with their backyard lines
childhood thoughts of neighbors
hanging wash
tattle tales and peekaboos
hung dripping on the line.
Minny’s see-through underwear
and Bobby’s holey socks
Alice wears a bra now . . .
can you believe it?

Soon the winds will grow too cold
for hanging clothes
but still . . .
I might just do it one day, anyhow
just to see
the frozen stiffs come off the line
the laughter in our kitchen then
when my Mom pulled them one by one
hard and cold
through the window . . .
waiting to lie down
on toasty radiators
and dream away defrosting.

And I, waiting too
to sniff the crisp winter’s air
that floated through that place
filling little heads with happy memories
times too easily forgotten
in a world gone electric.

Joanne Cucinello
(written in 1988)

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