On Writing

Poem 245 – How to do Something: Hang a Wet Pillowcase on the Clothesline

How to Do Something: Hang a Wet Pillowcase on the Clothesline

pull out the line
stretch it across the weed-woven lawn
be mindful of dog piles of shit, edges
whitening from the heat
clip the metal onto the hook
tighten the line
it needs to be taut to hold the wet

from the broken teal hamper
take out the crumpled pillowcase
hold two corners, one in each fist
snap it out untwisting it in the excited wind
before it lands cold on your thighs

think of your grandmother in her yard
clotheslines permanent between two iron crosses
the wrinkled ziplocks
the crusty rug
the bird shit like scabs on the poles

cry if you will at the memory
of her body, now a ghost seeping
through the rips in the ziplock
considering the squirrel plucking at the red rug
enjoying the avian Pollack on the iron
everything touchable but her

take out two wooden clothespins
fold the pillowcase over the line
squeeze and bite the cotton

…the holding down
wooden mouths wailing

Thank you to Jude Neale for the prompt: write a poem about how to do something, during her prompt workshop offered by Planet Earth Poetry.

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