Daddy’s dead but the wash is still wet,
so Mama and I stand side by side
at the strand of fence wire strung between the pecan trees
in the orchard late this breezy afternoon,
her mouth full of clothespins
so no word between us, no sound at all
but our breathing in, breathing out
as I hand her my cloroxed T-shirts to hang on the line,
the wind filling their sleeves as if with shoulders,
our own shoulders touching,
our own arms splayed like the limbs of these trees
that have sheltered us all our lives,
holding off the setting sun.