The Clothes Line
by Marilyn K. Walker
A clothes line was a news forecast,
to neighbours passing by.
There were no secrets you could keep,
when clothes were hung to dry.
was a friendly link,
for neighbours 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
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 night-clothes, and
a bathrobe too,
haphazardly were strung.
It 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 neighbours raised their brows,
and looked disgustedly away.
But clotheslines now are of the past,
for dryers make work less,
Now what goes on inside a home,
is anybodies guess.
I really miss that way of life;
it was a friendly sign,
When neighbours knew each other best,
by what was on the line.