Laundry Lines

My mom calls out from the kitchen window, telling me

to hurry and bring in the clothes drying on the line before it rains.

I see the clouds but feel no raindrops yet, sit swinging on the tire

my dad hung from a high branch of our False Wiliwili tree.

I launch myself from the upper terrace out over the much lower one and feel dangerous.

This time my mom yells for me to step on it because it’s going to rain at any moment.

I look up into the tree, feel the first misty drops fall lightly on my face and forearms.

Suddenly she’s coming out through the patio screen door, stomping in my direction.

I stop instantly, jamming my feet down on the grass, like Fred Flintstone braking.

I don’t need her standing angry above me on a quick boil.

I jump and dash to grab sheets, towels, shirts, various undergarments.

My mother watches me, not appearing very much impressed by my speed now.

Arms loaded down, I turn and run, just getting inside before the rain comes down.

My mother stands out there getting soaked, holding the swing rope and staring at the empty lines.

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