White Sheets

DSC_5843 (1)White sheets.

Hanging from the wash line.

Is this a wash day?

A wash day like it used to be in the village.

With every house on a Tuesday morning

hanging the washing on line after line

in the back gardens.

The wind catches the sheets.

And as they billow like sails

they make that cracking noise

as the cotton snaps to its full length.

White sheets blowing in the wind.

Rising and falling as they are caught and buffeted.

The wind drops and the white sheets

slowly drift back to hang limply.

The wind rises again and the sheets

begin to stretch out with the force of the breeze.

The clouds break.

And brilliant sunshine illuminates the sheets.

A stronger gust and the sheets stream out again.

Each sheet rises in sequence to reveal the pathway.

To reveal you standing there.

You. Watching me.


And the sheets hide you again as they fall

to hang without movement.

But then begin to unfurl and rise

as yet another gust pushes the white cotton out

and you are once again exposed.

You stand watching me with that serious look.

Your eyes expressionless.

Studying me.

And once more the whiteness falls

to cover where you are standing.

There is no movement now.

Just the brilliant whiteness

falling on you like a curtain.

And then you are revealed again.

But it is not you.

It’s the girl standing there in your place.

Your daughter.

Standing there expressionless.

Staring as the sheets rise and fall rhythmically.

And then you begin to move.

A long slow stride.

Towards me.

You move.

Almost as though you are in slow motion.

That slow time again.

There is no sound now.

Your eyes are focused on me.

You know me.

You look at me.

And now rain drops.

The sound of a steady pit-pat.

The sound increasing.

Rain falling.

Suddenly a crescendo.

White sheets spattered.

Grey spots

On white sheets.

Nearly dry white sheets.

Water spatters.

Water stained

White sheets.

Turning grey.

Hanging limp now.

Hanging to the ground.

And you are gone

Awake now in the darkness.

Uncertain of the time.

Lying there listening.

To the rain.

Rain hitting against the window of the bedroom.

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