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Washing line

Page 1

(in memoriam Don E. Stevens)

The garden is quiet. The sky
lies above me, an empty ocean light,
as I peg the sheet on the line.

The cotton seems crushed like velvet,
embossed with leaves and branches
as the wind slowly lifts its hem

to flap once over the grass, a lazy flag
representing this household who press
their bodies against its landscape.

So even in the darkest night,
tumbling in the sheets, wrapped in dreams,
they lie sleeping on forests.

The invisible wind comes again; disturbs
the trees on the other side of the lawn,
shifting softly as the squall passes through.

The sheet sags back in the thick rich sunlight
and I think of how everything
but us has confidence in creation.

Robert Hartford

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Next story:  I Imagine Now for Ages
From ‘The Gift’ poems by Hafiz, translations by Daniel Ladinsky

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