Shelby Lynn Lanaro
Out on the Clothesline
I used to love helping Nana hang
damp clothes on her line. Corner,
clothespin, corner, clothespin.
She’d hand me shirts to pin and send
out over Papa’s strawberry garden.
Once, while running a line of bright white
bras and underpants, she told me:
I never let your grandfather see me
with the lights on.
Yet there, out on the clothesline,
her underwear stared down the neighbors’ +
yards. I still grin, even now, as I drive
by lawns adorned with banners of
vibrant briefs. The dryer in my own house
works fine enough, but there’s something about
the wind billowing through my bedsheets,
about lying in linens and duvet blown dry
by the breeze. I air my laundry damp and clean--
just as Nana used to—but even with my closet
of crop tops and minis, my unmentionables
hang solely behind closed bathroom doors.
Shelby Lynn Lanaro is the author of Yellowing Photographs (Kelsay Books, 2021). A New England native, Shelby earned her MFA in 2017 from Southern Connecticut State University, where she now teaches first year composition and creative writing courses. Shelby’s poems and photographs have appeared in Young Ravens Literary Review, Verse of Silence, The Wild Word, Wild Tongue, and elsewhere.