Overdue Homage

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Early on Monday mornings Our mother did The washing. The machine Was powered by hand. Between The Kieffer pear tree And woodshed a wire Had been stretched Tight as a harpstring, on which Week after week The washing was hung to dry, Redolent of wind And sunlight, of white pear bloom, Of summer ... autumn haze And ultimately snow Spilling softly as sleep. These lines to my regret Are a little late for praise. The snow is much too deep.

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