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Man dressed In shirt, tie, waistcoat and apron, bent over a kitchen sink full of dirty dishes, cleaning a frying pan.  

1930s
Keeping House

 

With just a single pair of eyes

to spot how dust accumulates

round vents in plastic TV backs

and stay alert for stains that spoil

the so-called stainless draining board,

it might be quite a month before

he’d notice other odds and ends

slyly getting out of hand.

 

So then he’d vac beyond the foot place

where he spilled his skimpy meals.

He’d do the stairs and reach the bathroom,

where no one else had squeezed the toothpaste

and scouring scale from under taps,

like plaque around a silver tooth,

he’d have to rinse, and rinse again

to clear the bits and bitter taste.

 

 

© Michael Bartholomew-Biggs

Picture 10274565, photograph, 1930s

 

 

Michael Bartholomew-Biggs is a retired mathematician but still functions as poetry editor for the online magazine London Grip.  He has published several poetry collections, most recently Fred & Blossom, a romance set in the world of aviation in the 1930s (Shoestring Press, 2013) and Pictures from a Postponed Exhibition, a sequence based on paintings by the Australian artist David Walsh (Lapwing, 2014).  For more information see mikeb-b.blogspot.co.uk/