Laundress by Gayle LaVallee


    early June. The hotel’s tableclothes
        curled in my basket, wet
            ready for hanging
                my joy among the strong white lines
    pinned to the promises of season, green grass,
            breeze just recently shorn of daffodils.
        I am tall, romantic,
            as I stretch them out, tight checks and polka dots,
            in fresh sea

    in August.  Rows and rows and six lines deep
        colored guest sheets
            across the bowed-down ropes.
    I pin and unpin,
        pin again, take down,
        reach and lift and gather in
        sultry air, the sweating

    October.  The last white curtains sail
        the flapping line
            in crisp attention.
                the sea wind turns
    the empty pegs
            tuning its   goodbye song
        to lace and valance and laundress
        standing in romance
            folding the season

Gayle LaVallee

4 thoughts on “Laundress by Gayle LaVallee

  1. Gayle’s poem brings alive all my warm memories of sitting on the Trailing Yew lawn watching the laundry move in the breeze. Thanks, Gayle! See ya next summer!

  2. Gayle,
    Really nicely connects the human and natural on Monhegan in a lofty yet ordinary spirit…and billows with the seasonal rise and fall of romance for life.
    Thanks for the insights,

  3. “the empty pegs
    tuning its goodbye song
    to lace and valance and laundress
    standing in romance
    folding the season

    really lovely

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