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The Weight of the World
Oh, how they blew like vast sails in the breeze,
my mother’s wet sheets, pegged hard to the rope
of her washing line. There was always hope
of dry weather and no need for a please
or thanks between us as we hauled them down.
Whether to make the fold from right to left
or left to right, to tame the restless heft?
My job to know. I won’t call it a dance
but there were steps to learn and cues to read,
the give and take of fabric passed like batons
in a relay race. She was my due north.
Her right hand set west, mine tracing the east,
we closed the distance, calmed the wayward weight
bringing order to the billowing world.
© Seni Seneviratne
Commended in the St. Cross College, Four Corners Poetry Competition.