Hanging My Laundry

Hanging My Laundry

On the rooftop, shirts, pants, and socks
Hang heavy and limpid on the clothesline.
There is a hint of movement
In the sky. A wonderful bird,
Whose kind I do not know,
Punctuates the air with its piercing chirps
As it perches on a TV antenna.
The wat nearby is quiet.
Perhaps the monks have slipped back
To their worldly lives
Like going out for a walk
And smoke, learn English
And get wired on cyberspace.
The villas and common houses
Also hold some delicate
Peace in their being,
Long healing broken lives.
On Norodom Road,
Someone, whose head
Is covered with a khroma, sweeps
The fallen red flowers of a flame tree;
Cyclos on the pavement,
Poised to breeze through
The morning grace.
And the drone of vehicles
And shapes of life fizzle out
As I ascend higher
And take in an edifying breath
Through all the countenance
Of this sense and rhythm;
I could pluck out clouds and also
Hang them on the line.

23 June 2003
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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