POEM: Washing line (to my landlady)

BY HAILEY GAUNT

Maybe that’s why small things get to you:
the dog doo, paper in the plastics, wood chips on the grass.
Maybe that’s why you couldn’t face the leaky tap,
advised another nail for the old bed that split in two –

For you, it’s not just one morning
sleeping past nine, letting the phone go,
the dust settle or the dishes slide –
such surrenders, invisible, subliminal –

terminal –
the searing thought of an unwritten letter,
a conversation not smoothed over,

the washing line hanging by a thread.

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