The whites are less clean, even after a hot water soak. I lie them like ghosts along the clothesline, pretend those voices are in my head. The first call, calm, without cry, tumbles from the top of the stairs. The high note lowers pitch as it falls down the old rusty shoot to the cold basement floor. I ignore the second call; grasp the damp clothes, move them from hand to hand, hang them side-by-side. I stand still under the weight of their call; to see me, need me when I disappear. The second and third cries rise in volume but I stay in the shadow, lavender, drape and fold. The laundry room drowns the panic song. I borrow the space between dirty and clean, bid work and plea for five more minutes alone.