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October 2013, vol 8, no 3

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Patricia N. Rogers

Washing by Hand

I remember, once a week, that year, months after hurricane Hugo had come and gone, leaving the island without electricity, my mother, like most of the mothers of our congregation, would drive up to the old church on the hill; car filled with that week's ripening bundles and her oftentimes reluctant female children. The sun was always high and from the top of the hill we could see, if we stopped to look, the beauty of the crystal blue water laid out below us in all of its foam filled glory. But there was never time for such idleness. With familiar efficiency, needed items were quickly laid out and duties firmly dispensed. A ten gallon bucket, tied to a long piece of rope, waited for strong hands to throw it down into the cistern and pull it back up full of warm rainwater. Before long, with the rhythm set, and a cloudless sky above, conversation, youthful laughter, and the smell of soap floated effortlessly over the ocean.

sifted by
pink and blue clothespins...
September breeze