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Contents Page: July 1, 2011, vol 7 no 2

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Priscilla Van Valkenburgh


Island Clothesline

A maze of rope strung from just the right trees form a washday corral. A family of shirts, men's work shirts, frayed at the collars and faded to pastels abut smaller, women's tee shirts and shapeless golf shirts. Men's jeans strut in the wind next to shorts and capri pants. Then the underwear in size and sex categories – patterned boxers, dark briefs, pink hipsters. Socks rate just one clothespin each, suspended by the toes near the clothespin bag for convenience. Several times a summer tiny bathing suits appear along with corresponding little trappings.

Facing the clothing the same old towels are queued in their primary colors for this cottage by the sea, nautical blues and reds still vibrant, yellows and greens complementing the surrounding spruce trees. On the longest line bright white sheets are luffing and billowing in the breeze.

Later, stiff and fragrantly full of wind and sunshine, the wash is dropped into the waiting wicker basket.

at low tide
sand dollars left behind–
the cost of order


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