On Domesticity

Watched by the skeletons of clothes airers,
I mountaineer up the sofa to water the devil’s ivy.

Bee-hum of the dehumifier, all our hopes pinned
to a spoorless wall, weekly bleached bone.

The mop forlorn by the bathroom door,
a gaunt wizard of cleanliness.

My hands soften in the washing up water
like petals in a puddle after a rainstorm.

So peach soft. Allow me then my forest
of bookcases, and among them the tumeric armchair

glowing like the sun of its own
peculiar solar system. We are caught up

in its orbit like a queen captive in a hive.
But closer to the workers, yes, their daily toil

and blunder. What else to watch – the kaleidescope
of laundry through a tiny porthole.

Feel your hand back to mine. Not trembling.
The solid warmth of a wood stove in October,

bearing all the seasons through.


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