Things that Clean


(thanks to Josie, and everyone at Tremethick House)

The grand hall, so lit it seems to brush the sun across our chairs and skin,
Here we meet, with lives we’ve lived and livings made, and with some memories begin.

Dressmakers, Book Sellers, Drapers, Gun Sighters, Nurse Teachers, Pilots,
Evacuees – someone with a brother minister who somehow survived the dread TB.

There’s no waste of breath in stories told, when voices shine and glisten in the air,
Air where doodlebugs once flew, air where carbolic once scrubbed up the stairs.

The old twin tub spinning, the mangle wringing, the blue cleaned sheets we’re folding,

Starched as hardback covers unclosing on these shelves holding us up.
Authors all, carer’s too – with dedications before the content’s even read,
Each one’s a page somehow unwritten still, as if a single word’s yet to be said.

Selecting one, an imaginary note slips out, and falls upside down onto the floor,
Some lover’s secret? Something missed? Something someone might wish was more?
A pencilled thought beneath a poem, a list of jobs, someday’s to do’s or some’s to don’ts,

Life’s moments, each a medal’s worth, for service rendered to dreams and hope.

mac dunlop, october 2014