Thursday, July 14, 2011

Well swept

Her new yard broom has a plastic, made-in-China handle,
its bristle mane sits on broad shoulders,
a deep thread seals their partnership.
She stores this one head up
–a lesson from domestic science.

Inside she uses soft locks on a head that falls away
from its wooden handle at a mere knock.
She coaxes hair, pinhead paper pieces,
snipped thread ends to their grave;
leaves this one hanging by its hook.

Sometimes she takes a feather duster
that is not made from feathers, whisks
into corners deep as the last C on the keyboard,
shakes it out, unseen debris floats, falls,
floats –goodbye, she whispers.

Outside she sweeps foot-crushed leaves, infant twigs,
bark crumbs from the deck; the dust drops,
like finely sieved flour, between the planks.
She hides the rest under bushes, ready
for the wind to scatter it behind her back.


  1. Loved this poem... took me back to my childhood when sweeping ruled as the domestic queen of tasks and the brush was multipurpose, used for chasing marauding cows, killing invasive mice and dislodging adventurous spiders. Just realised what a violent domestic tool it was, not to mention its use as a jousting lance in all those 'harmless' children's games