A Clothesline Poem (Anonymous)
A clothesline 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 tablecloth” with intricate design.
The line announced a baby’s birth, from folks who lived inside
As brand-new infant clothes were hung, so carefully with pride!
The ages of the children could, so readily by 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 nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too haphazardly were strung.
It also 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 wash was dingy and gray,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows, and looked the other way…
But clotheslines now are of the past, for dryers make work much 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 neighbors knew each other best by what hung on the line.
So it has been a human trait since time began to peak at your neighbors, and then spread the news. Always in a most concerned way, of course.
Oscar Wilde once said "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."
Just what kind of good neighbor would we be if we let that happen on our block. We are not our brother's keeper, but we are are neighbor's public relations person. It is an important job, that we must not ignore.
Of course, today we have home owner's Associations' rules banning outdoor clothes lines. This makes the job a lot harder to do.