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A CLOTHESLINE POEM

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 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 table cloths”

With intricate designs.

The line announced a baby’s birth

From 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 wash was dingy and gray,

As neighbors carefully raised their brows,

And looked the other way.

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 hung on the line.

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