Sunday, 11 July 2010



Hair still in curlers,
a serviceable pink sweater,
some garment of a skirt,
thick legs reaching
into fur-lined slippers,
she fastens one end
of her washing-line
to the special peg fixed
on the outside-toilet wall,
steps over border crocuses,
ties the other end
to an overhanging branch
of next-door's apple tree.

A week of shirts,
six off-white, one blue
and a pair of pillowcases
dance a jig in the breeze;
coloured towels, two sheets,
three bras and a nylon slip
complete the line.

Bird song filters through the air;
from behind the cumulus
the Sunday sun peeps;
the afternoon
looks like being bright
as nearby parks fill.
from my city bedsit window
the view of distant hills
is marred only by the sight
of laundry over the lawn.
© Gerald England

Composed: Sheffield, 10th April 1971


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