Sunday, 24 January 2016

Poem 2016 / 019

Mangle Monday

Monday was washing, the fire
in the outhouse lit and the huge tub
of water filled bucket by bucket
from the rainwater barrel.

With the water steaming
the whites went in. My father's shirts
and wife beaters, the sheets from four beds
and finally the bathroom towels.

From boiler to dolly tub, agitated
by hand then retrieved with wooden tongs;
cold tub to rinse then into the mangle
before the last step of washing line.

Then the linens, the underwear,
dresses and trousers (and by now
the day is almost done again)
then time to get the washing in.

After she died in 'seventy eight
my father got a twin tub.

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