Anointed Task by Mary Lou Meyers

This is a perfect backdrop for my exhibit on June 2nd: Lavenderia: The Art of the Clothesline. Thanks, Mary Lou!


It was more than just laundry day decor
when mother shook the last drops of holy water,
wiped clean of mundane tasks,
then stretched the snow white sheets
like an altar cloth till they squeaked
for all the neighbors to see
clothes-pinned on the line,
propped up with a ramrod straight pole.

It was a hint of the sublime
to see the sun glint on the plain design,
the wind lift the immaculate sheets heavenward,
snap to attention in winter,
while I contented myself with lesser matters,
lowly socks with previous toes darned
to righteous stiffness,
the heels still grimed.
I grappled with a make-shift line
using a ladder in the shadow of the sheets
where gleaming little souls were fashioned
from worn out soles of restless feet.

Soon it will become a forgotten task
without the reward that lasted week long
to be renewed like a freshet on a dew-dropped lawn,
not baked through in a dryer, dull and lifeless,
and heaped in a basket, but folded neatly.
Sinless as the day we were born,
tucked securely in our receiving sheets
the fragrance transforming our plain beds
into heaven-scented bowers.

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