The Clothes Line
A clothes line was a news forecast
To neighbors passing by.
There were no secrets you could keep
When clothes were hung to dry.
It also was a friendly link
For neighbors always knew
If company had stopped on by
To spend a night or two.
For then you'd see the fancy sheets
And towels upon the line;
You'd see the company tablecloths
With intricate design.
The line announced a baby's birth
To folks who lived inside,
As brand new infant clothes
Were hung so carefully with pride.
The ages of the children
Could so readily be known,
By watching how the sizes changed,
You'd know how much they'd grown.
It also told when illness struck
As extra sheets were hung;
Then night-clothes and a bathrobe too
Haphazardly were strung.
It said "Gone on vacation now",
When lines hung limp and bare.
It told "We're back!" when full lines sagged
With not an inch to spare.
New folks in town were scorned upon
If washing was dingy grey,
As neighbors raised their brows
And looked disgustedly away.
But clotheslines now are in the past
For dryers make work less,
Now what goes on inside a home
Is anybody's guess.
I really miss that way of life.
It was a friendly sign
When neighbor's knew each other best
By what was on the line.