Mennonite Farm Wife

She hung her laundry in the morning
before light and often in winter
by sunrise the sheets were ice.
They swung all day on the line,
creaking, never a flutter.
At dusk I’d watch her lift each one
like a field, the stretches of white
she carried easily as a dream
to the house where she bent and folded
and stacked the flat squares.
I never doubted they thawed
perfectly dry, crisp,
the corners like thorn.

:: Janet Kauffman, Weather Book (1981)

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