To find employment and the truth
I read the classifieds in tea leaves—
symbol seeking an equation
clothesline seeking washing
objectified stranger seeking life
I’ll try again tomorrow,
investigate the websites in the clouds,
where my skill
at staring into light and dark
might be less superfluous.
In the yard, I stretch my arms with a singlet
and pegs, pointers east and west,
a washing basket waiting at my feet.
The rotary clothesline sneers.
And what about the north and south
to which I daily send my greetings?
I’m a home to spiders, a perch for birds.
Don’t act so smugly just because you’re sentient.
Pride emerges from my pouting mouth.
We made you, Clothesline.
Your creator stands before you.
A little humility wouldn’t go astray.
You address a spinning solar conduit,
a drier of the wet,
an acolyte of Ra.
He rotates countersunwise,
a fraction of a radian.
I know that your humanity, your disguise,
is an ornament for the benefit of strangers.
In your heart you don’t believe you’re human,
you’re made for hanging clothes like me,
and after all,
you’re talking to a clothesline.
I couldn’t disagree.
And by the way, your hidden shades of night,
your affordable fashion
is staining your tattered
osmotic green and purple.
I washed my clothes in George’s River
when the ducks were passing by,
to add a little agitation from their paddling.
But now I think I’ll find a quiet pond,
contemplate the fire of the dawn,
scrub my disguises
one by one,
and shop for a tumble dryer
when I’m done.
a little known fact—although modern garments generally have twitter accounts, the expression ‘on-line’ originally referred to drying clothes on a line.
artwork the first dawn