hanging offenses

it is apartheid in the laundry
coloureds should not mix with whites
but I am an integrationist at heart
and democratic principles allow me leeway
to include whatever I want

sheets on top

a towel

the machine is overfull
in the alcove at the end of the kitchen
behind the bi-fold doors
that keep the worst excesses of noise at bay
and hide washing machine and water-troughs
old newspapers         assorted screwdrivers
and long forgotten paraphernalia
including our first vacuum cleaner         or sundry parts thereof

hanging to dry by the armload
a trolley or a basket would be a good idea
but …

here is a lesson for beginners:
never hang the sheets before the smalls and the shirts
they have a tendency to flap and to drape damply
causing hindrance to the process of pegging
and raise the temperature of frustration

perhaps wrath will help to hasten the drying

the principles of hanging washing came to me long ago
starting with the basics of forty nappies on the line
corner-to-corner going up
folded in squares and stacked when coming down
gradual progression to shirts hung upside down
pants right side up

hanging woman things can never be learnt
must simply be done as best one can
for there has never been an adequate way
for a man to hang brassieres or other lingerie
such attractive delicacies on occasion
yet so awkward and shapeless on the line
I suppose there is a proper place
for everything

© Frank Prem, 2002


12 thoughts on “hanging offenses

  1. Hey Frank,
    Love your take on this prompt! My attempt to it created a much darker message while yours left a lasting impression while having a sense of quirkiness and humor to it. I am definitely going to check out more work by you!
    A Thought from,
    Those Pointless Thoughts

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank goodness for dryers. In Portugal last month, most places have only a washer, so we learned how to hang clothes on the line anew. But, we never managed to learn how to use the washer-dryer in one. Never figured out how to get the dryer part to work.

    Liked by 1 person

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