Thursday, January 14, 2010


for Susan,
& Annie Wyndham who writes —

"Almost all the houses around here have clotheslines and people use them, even if they have dryers, from early Spring to late October but there are some who continue to hang their clothes outside all winter long. I tried that once one November. The sun was out, the air was brisk and since the neighbor over on rue St. Jean-Baptiste had her clothes hanging out, I figured heck, why not. Everything froze, of course. At the end of the afternoon I unclipped them, stacked them up, stiff as a board, and brought them inside. It took two days to dry, but only because they needed thawing out first."

Annie writes from the brave hinterlands of Quebec and keeps a tidy and invigorating blog: Jottings of an AmeriQuebeckian where I'm slipping some of the above from. I'm also asking my own readers indulgence as I repeat a poem of my own, and likewise add a photograph of Susan, busy at work and high noon.


Finally a blue sky day
And you do the wash!
Then you go and hang everything
Out on the line, a place reached
Through two feet of snow, rotten
Ice and a pathway I shoveled

Colorful wash all day
Blowing in the wind

At dusk you go pick
Dry clothes off a rope —
For a moment your billowy
Red skirt, violet sweater,
Bright long hair blowing
In the same breeze

I come to help as
You hold one garment up to
Your face breathing in the
Fresh wash and all you
Say with a smile is

photo © bob arnold

Bob says: move to the woods, get yourself a toboggan