putting out the washing

she felt the rain— brought the washing in like a donkey carrying a creel on its hip the bundle unacknowledged the task an instinct

(meanwhile to while away another moment among scone bread necessities)

the rain came then and she nodded to it with spent workhorse eyes that know the day will ebb in the toil of getting on with life

hands worn clean and feet routine treading to trample all trace of wonder extract duty from love until love itself is calloused in the years that take all in the passing even the sadness

those are her ghost moments in my memory and I see her among forgotten generations of women putting out the washing and bringing it in putting out the washing and bringing it in putting it out and bringing it in until time falls and night settles like a shawl to drape shoulders that asked for nothing in the giving of themselves.