He Held the Wooden Clothespin

He held the wooden clothespin
in his hand, turned it over,
squeezed the ends and watched
the jaws open and close.
For a few seconds he played a
ventriloquist. He would
talk to the clothespin and the
clothespin would answer.
He wondered if the dog noticed
that his lips moved when
the clothespin talked. He thought
back to the days
when laundry was hung on a
clothesline in the back-
yard — sheets, pillowcases, white,
cotton underwear (Bobby,
When you start washing your own
clothes, don’t ever mix colors.
It should be all whites or all colors.)
He stood in the kitchen
watching his mother in the yard wear-
ing her summer dress and
her ubiquitous apron while hanging
all the laundry with wooden
clothespins. Then he closed the bag
of white cheddar popcorn
sealed it with the old, wooden clothes-
pin and returned the bag
to the pantry where it would join the
other wooden clothespin and
a blue plastic clothespin charged 
with                                                                                  keeping the snacks fresh —
the delicious, mostly multi-colored snacks
in multi-colored bags.

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