Wind Blown

Laundry on the line

For all the world to see

Basking in sunlight

Fresh sheets blowing in the wind

A fresh smell like no other


Clothes from the washer

Suds squeezed out through the ringer

Woman’s work back then

Monday morning wash day

Life’s simple routine repeated


Wicker basket filled

Undies just hung on the line

Wooden clothes pins tight

No one then gave it a thought

Whether the neighbors saw them


Phosphate soap bubbles

Tide will always get them clean

Good fresh smells linger

Dry clothes pressed on ironing board

Folded put up by supper

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

At d’Verse this evening, De asked us to write a poem about laundry! I grew up in the days when clothes were washed in a ringer washer and washtubs, hung on the line outside with wooden clothes pins, and ironed on an ironing board in the kitchen! No need for fabric softener back then the clothes always smelled wonderful. I decided to do a series of tankas.

Join us at:

88 thoughts on “Wind Blown

  1. Wonderful poem and subject, Dwight. I so prefer washing dried in the fresh
    air, the scent is a perfume I wish I could bottle.
    It seems that the tumble dryer has taken over in many places. Handy for winter but…., what about our senses.😊.


    Liked by 4 people

  2. Beautiful nostalgic poem Dwight! We still have clothes lines to dry out clothes, but on the terraces and roofs. The colourful fabric fluttering in the wind and the colourful cloth pegs are forever very beautiful sights.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. What a wonderful poem, Dwight! A memory-ingniter! 🙂
    Until the day she died my mom only had a ringer washer and a clothesline. So I grew up using the ringer washer and hanging clothes on the lines in the backyard. I like the way the sun-dried wind-dried clothes smelled. 🙂
    Our neighbor had a friendly Great Dane that would let us little kids ride on his back. My mom would yell if we let him run under the clothes drying on the lines! HA! 😀
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. It has just occurred to me that although washing was much more labour intensive back then, wash day was once per week. Now it’s every day, sometimes twice or even three times! A fine example of how better technology does not lead to less consumption…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. No one has ever been able tor replicate the wondrous smell of clothes drying in sunshine and fresh breezes. I was intrigued by the idea of running one end of the clothes line up a flag pole as in your photo! Fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dwight, a beautifully described laundry day. ❤ I remember those days and used to help my mother hang clothes on the line when I was a young child. I had ironing instruction in the 4H club. I used to do the ironing when I was in high school while listening to music on the radio. Glad we don't have to do any of that anymore! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I love the tanka form, Dwight, and these are wonderful. Such a collection of memories here. I have very early memories of hanging the wash with my gran, including the scent of sun and her wrinkled hands placing the old-fashioned clothespins just so.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I love the sensory experiences in this tanka series, and in the photo you can almost feel the breeze.
    We always had a clothes dryer, but I remember my mom telling me that when my brother was a baby she had to lug him and the laundry from a laundry place where she washed it. Then she hung it from lines from their apartment window. This was in Philadelphia.

    Liked by 2 people

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