Clothespins: Poetry

By Jacqueline de Weever


Wash-day once commanded these

after heavy suds had massaged the clothes.

Heaped in the wicker basket,

they yield to the curtain’s shadows

coloring them honey, grey,

pale lavender.


Who can guess the power of their clip

when the wind grabbed shirts by the cuffs

made them wiggle their tails,

turned hems into flounces of Spanish dance,

and sheets, spread out, snatched the scent

of almonds from the trees.


Their grip failed in a stronger gale,

underpants floated like wisps of cloud

over the neighbor’s yard.

Below, in the shadows, like pillars from a temple,

A woman’s legs, planted firmly as her hands

moved, secured the household gods.