Pat’s Poem for My Clothesline Book-in-the Works

Note: Last week my friend Pat came for a visit just as I was working on the poems and pictures for my book-in-the-works, En Plein Air: The Art and Craft of the Clothesline, which is almost finished, so I thought I would include Pat’s poem and picture (based on one of my photos from Italy) as a “teaser” for the book. It will be available on, date to be announced.


Clothesline Memories
by Pat Ferraro


A clothesline was a news forecast to neighbors passing by.
There were no secrets to be kept when clothes were hung to dry.

The line announced a baby’s birth from folks who lived inside,
as brand new infant’s clothes were strung while momma beamed with pride.

It also said, “We’ve gone on vacation,” when lines hung loose and bare,
and then announced, “We’re home again without a thing to wear.”

Folks in town were frowned upon when laundry was dingy and gray.
Brows were raised and tongues would wag as heads would turn away.

Clotheslines are mostly part of the past, as people use them less.
What happens inside a home today is anybody’s guess.

I miss the friendly backyard chats because as everybody knows—
the gossip is the very best while hanging up your clothes.

Using your automatic dryer as a second choice is fine,
in wintertime or on rainy days, when you can’t use the line.

So be kind to the environment and hang your laundry, please.
Weather permitting, that’s nature’s way to dry with sun and breeze.

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