• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 07

My Mam Is Nothing If

not thorough.

As if she is a Victorian reminder
on a wall full of telling aphorisms:

What will the neighbours say?

Our home shows us how
we treat ourselves.

If she can
buff away grey clouds to bring out the blue,
drag every daffodil, bluebell
crocus out of the earth to flower today,
place a spruced up nest for every chaffinch, been and goldfinch, blackbird, dove.

Tidy home is a tidy mind.

All windows opened
to "freshen" the wintered home.
Windows cleaned outside and in.

She empties every drawer,
cupboard, wardrobe, surface,
scrubs them clean,
spiders scurry off.

It shows you respect yourself.

Washes every emptied item
of crockery, cutlery, some
unused for years.


My Mam Is Nothing If

burnishes copper ornaments,
delicately brushes Capodimonte
figures, feather dusts top of doors,
skirting boards, dewebs high corners,
buffs with Brasso gas fire.
Tables and furniture Rosewood or Lavender
Pledge, all furniture pushed
into centre of rooms better
to vacuum. Empties bookshelves,
every book cover cleaned.
Rolls up lounge rugs and doormats
slings them over washing line
slaps and beats dust out of them.
Strip beds, turn mattresses,
air sheets
A clean home is a clean soul.

bath, sinks. Buffs chrome taps.

fragrances bathroom with Lemon,
toilet blue,

defrosts fridge, full milk bottles
in a sink of cold water,
brushes out emptied garage,
Datsun Estate cleaned, vacuumed
outside and in.

Patio weeded, grass cut for first time
this year, borders weeded, dug over.


My Mam Is Nothing If

Black bags food
beyond sell by dates, or out
of fashion.

Likewise, you must shine your shoes,
pick bits off the clothes,
straighten your skirt, tie,
tighten your belt.