My mum had loads of brass ornaments and I had to help clean them. This poem is based on that job, which I detested!
It appeared in the Riptide Anthology.
First day of Spring.
My mother flings windows open,
‘to let the devil out.’ She fastens
her Paisley-patterned apron,
gathers weapons of dirt destruction:
scrubbing brush, Ajax, bucket, mop.
I have to polish, but I like the way
the ‘Brasso’ uncovers lost treasure.
My fingers are licorice sticks,
as mother, streaming with sweat,
inspects a gleaming plate.
‘You’re doing a grand job.’
She rolls up Dandycord mats
and takes them outside to wash.
A glint of sunlight – our prints
already collecting dust.