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Poem for a Washday

By: Ardis E. Parshall - May 14, 2013

Poem for a Washday

By Miranda Snow Walton

She could not write a poem, she said,
About the flowers and trees,
But on her washday line, I saw
Poems fluttering in the breeze.
She used such gay, embroidered words
That passers-by could tell
Her cottage was a shrine, with love
A daily ritual.
She told of happy hearts within
Whose care was her delight,
Of him who shared her every joy
Coming home at night.
And there were tiny, dainty words
That looked like fairy wings,
Soft, cuddly words for lullabies
A new-made mother sings.
Ah, no, she could not write a poem,
But on her washday line
I saw a poem of living joy
More beautiful than mine.

(1949)



5 Comments »

  1. Copied and send to our Relief Society newsletter. Thank you for this.

    Comment by Carol — May 14, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

  2. . . . with proper attribution, of course! As in: Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History Blog, at
    http://www.keepapitchinin.org/2013/05/14/poem-for-a-washday (accessed May 14, 2013).

    Comment by David Y. — May 14, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

  3. Then I’d better give full attribution for once: Relief Society Magazine, August 1949, 574.

    (I do keep track of where transcribed pieces come from, so that if there is ever a reason to ask I can tell you.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 14, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

  4. That’s lovely. I can’t imagine anyone would feel that way looking at my clothesline, but I have seen some in Lancaster County that were like art.

    Comment by Amy T — May 14, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

  5. Ah. I sent the Keepa link, but now I’ll put the whole attribution. Thanks.

    Comment by Carol — May 14, 2013 @ 5:23 pm

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