Clothes Pole by Jim Bates

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Set firmly in the ground
It had its own spot in the backyard
A heavy-duty metal post with wooden arms attached
Held together with clothesline rope
A lever controlled it going up and down
A thing of mechanical beauty
Simple utility and grace.

His mother hung sheets from it every week
White cotton flags waving in the wind
The kids would run back and forth under it
“Get away from there!” she’d yell
Laughing they’d run away loving the game.

At night he lay in bed
Reading a Hardy Boys mystery
Listening to a baseball game on his silver transister radio
Wrapped in those sun-drenched sheets crinkly and cool
Until lights out
Then snuggling in amid the aroma of outdoors
With just a hint of sunshine
Eyes slowly closing until finally
Drifting into peaceful sleep
Fresh summertime sheets flapping gently
In a tender dreamy breeze.

Jim Bates lives in a small town in Minnesota. He loves to write! His stories and poems have appeared in over 400 online and print publications. Blog:


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