Bits, by Susan Jordan


After you’ve cleaned you always find them there,
those little bits of food or dirt or fluff
that drive people to housewifely despair.
You know you’ll never manage to do enough

to turn your house into a home that looks
as though no person ever makes their mark
or writes or thinks or plays the piano or cooks
or has plants that shed foliage in the dark,

as though no feet had ever touched the floors
or fingers held the cutlery or glass.
But secretly you think they must be bores,
those cleaners who live only to polish brass.

When it comes to it, you’re happy to confess
you’d rather leave things in a bit of a mess.


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