A clothesline was a news forecast
To neighbors passing by.
There were no secrets you could keep
When clothes were hung to dry.
It also was a friendly link,
For neighbors always knew
If company had stopped on by
To spend a night or two.
For then you’d see the fancy sheets
And towels upon the line;
You’d see the company tablecloths
With intricate design.
The line announced a baby’s birth
To folks who lived inside,
As brand new infant clothes were hung
So carefully with pride.
The ages of the children could
So readily be known,
By watching how the sizes changed,
You’d know how much they’d grown.
It also told when illness struck,
As extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too,
Haphazardly were strung.
It said, “Gone on vacation now,”
When lines hung limp and bare.
It told, “We’re back!” when full lines sagged,
With not an inch to spare.
But clotheslines now are of the past,
For dryers make work less.
Now what goes on inside a home
Is anybody’s guess.
I really miss that way of life.
It was a friendly sign,
When neighbors knew each other best,
By what hung on the line!