Wet winter washing hanging
Heavy on a tight white line
Angling, aching, to be let go
To drop in happy heaped defeat
To the undemanding ground.
Perky pink, upright pegs
Are having none of that, they're not
To their weighty, weary load
Knowing patience and persistence pay
For a peg - as well as a prince -
And a toad.
The washing waits and works away,
The pegs hold on and on
For a whisper in Winter's bone-white ear
Getting warmer, keep on going,
Be Christ-like, strong.
Clouds cold and complacent hang
Mottled grey and grim
A load of washing ruined
A dark-shirted doubt flung in -
The virgin whitewash sin.
A breath of breeze won't do it
The want is wild for wind
To prove the peg and lighten the load
Before Spring's sunny soldiers swipe
The slated stains of Winter's labours
Clean, like a grin.