Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hidden from sight

Wet clothing pinned and clipped on lines
Towels and pants on one high end,
Sheets and shirts other end of twines,
Hanging down low as centers bend.

But, in the middle, too shy to publicly fly,

Hangs the underwear, bleached and white.
Playing hide and seek from those near-by,
Wanting oh-so-badly to take flight.

Oh, for a strong wind to play,
Coming across and sweeping away
The blues, the whites, and the gray,
Onto tractor windows, passing this day.

Bras, panties with hearts, boxers brave

Landing square on a farmer's face,
No dignity there is left to save,
Underwear at last has found a place.

I have had much experience with laundry on the line, years and years of it.  

I wrote this poem with a head full of memories and my mother's commands to hang the underwear in the middle of the second line, out of sight.  "We don't want neighbors to see what we wear." 

 Neighbors?  The nearest lived one half  a mile away.  The lines were behind the house.  But I was obedient. 

If anyone wants to sing the praises of laundry drying on clothesline, go ahead. I will not be agreeing with you. Too many memories of laundry basket after each other has left me with a desire to never dry clothes out blowing in the wind. Sorry.


  1. That was funny! You know, I've never hung clothes out to dry.

  2. Well done, Susan.

    Oh, how grateful I am that I have a dryer.

  3. Hilarious! I hung clothes out as a junior high kid on a farmette. I hung them in middle out of emarassment.

  4. Oh, I love this. It reminds me of my first encounter with an American grandmother that I wrote about under the letter L. The one who told me I could not write Toilet Paper on the shopping list. Wonderful, wonderful poem. You really have an eye for the trials and tribulations of all those items in our bedroom chests of drawers. You know I will never look at a sock the same way again, and now the underwear!

  5. Undies for all the world to see

  6. My undies never get to hang on the outdoor line. I have a stand for them in a bathroom.How very cowardly of me.

  7. Runaway underwear....gotta love it.

  8. I absolutely loved that poem. Fabulous way of relating to our everyday chores!! Great letter U Susan. Loved it!!

  9. Genius, I tell you. I haven't seen another such U post.
    I used to hang clothes out to dry many, many years ago. I so understand the feeling here. :)
    Lovely post, Susan. And the images are priceless.

  10. I can remember being shocked (as an adult) to discover that this continues. We hung things, and I hang things, in the order they are washed but many of the people I worked with followed this habit.
    Love your poem. And rebellion.

  11. What a great poem! To this day I still prefer the smell of sheets and clothes that have been sun/air dried. I have a line and I use it as often as I can. And I don't care who sees my undies.

  12. Excellent! There was so much wash in my house that two items were overlapped and used one pin. I think mom got back six inches of hanging room per line.

  13. Hi Susan. So funny. I choose the sunshine over a clothes dryer any day, just for the delicious smell. But your mother was right, you've got to hide the undies, ha ha.

    Thanks to linking to WEP .


  14. I hang my husband's gotchies wide and proud, but mine? I kinda double them up and try to make them look smaller - as if neighbours will be fooled by those itty bitty hankerchief-sized undies on my queen-size-sheet sized behind!

    I loved your poem! Can just imagine the poor farmer with panty-face! Awesome!

  15. My grandmother had me do the same! And there were poles to put the line up higher for the heavier/bigger items. I loved when my grandma would let me 'gently' bring one down. Looking back now, it's pretty amazing that she never chastised me once for dirt that invariably got on a wet sheet (or a dropped item) and had to be re-washed in her wringer washer. Thanks for the flashback. :)

  16. Hee! We always did those personal little items on the middle lines too.
    Great post!

  17. Cute! I would be too embarrassed to hang my underwear where anyone could see!

  18. It's been such a long time since I saw someone hanging clothes on the line. My mom used to do that when I was a kid.

  19. Oh how I miss having sheets with the smell of the outdoors on them! You have a wonderful eye--your photographs are so evocative.

  20. Very funny!!! I love the smell of laundry hung out to dry. In my younger days I hung out a lot. :)

  21. Underwear is such a funny word :)

    1. I think there have been many terms: knickers, undies, unmentionables...

  22. Hilarious, O what wonderful undies you have!

  23. Lacy bloomers of yesteryear were so pretty, but I'm glad we don't wear them nowadays.
    I still hang underwear in the middle with much larger items such as sheets and towels shielding them from view. I don't really know why, there is nothing shameful about underwear. Maybe just because the rotary clothesline (hills hoist) has shorter lines in the centre for smaller items, while the outside lines are long enough to carry the sheets.

  24. Don't you love those mother's commands that ring in your memories? I love clothes hanging from a line and I won't ever put my sheets in a dryer. I want that scent that air drying gives. It reminds me of a field of ferns.


Go won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!