Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Smell of Spring

We had a clothes dryer when I was growing up, but it didn't get used a lot. My mother was a firm believer in the clothes line, and though I can't say I've ever given this much thought till now, today's featured poem has brought back vivid "scent memories" of those wind-stiff sheets and clothes from my childhood and made me wax nostalgic! I've been having fond recollections of bringing in laundry off the line (not hanging it: wet laundry is gross and heavy!) and its wonderful, clean, fresh smell. Line-dried towels are stiff and scratchy, those I don't miss, and line-dried clothes spell i-r-o-n-i-n-g--which I do NOT do. But, yeah, the sheets? I miss those. Too bad my back yard is aswirl with the pollen of a zillion blooms; I'd like to go hang up a few bed linens!

2010 Poetry Parade: Day 13

Catching April
Heather Moore Niver

I hang out linens
on a bright raw morning.
The spring sky sneers,
reluctant to warm up
to me or the season,
so I retreat with moist numb thumbs.
All day I hear the sharp snap of sheets
whipping in the cold gusts
that try to rip them from the line.
Dark stick silhouettes
claw along tangled cotton,
but orange cases pillow
with the season’s spite and glow
in a row of summer moons.
Late in the afternoon I bring them inside,
dry and sun-warm,
and fold up the sweet clear air
caught within their threads.

© 2009 by Heather Moore Niver
Used here with the author's permission


Glenda said...

This I love. If I had a place in the sun in my back yard, I'd have a clothes line. That smell of clean sun-dried sheets is one of those from my past that lingers, makes me long for a time in my youth.

Joe Sottile said...

When we were newly married and for some time after that my wife loved to hang up clothes in the back yard in spring or summer. I usually found this most annoying because I would have to dodge under them to mow the grass. But I miss those days and the moments in the sun because the world was brighter and more uncharted.

Joan Ellen Gage said...

I do dry on a line when there is no pollen in the air!
Remember the frozen laundry on the line in the 50's?