WORKING AS ONE
Our dishwasher went on strike, fed up with being taken for granted,
the penny dropped as we stared at the full up sullen machine,
white goods amongst others in a kitchen designed to please.
Our back up plan: taking out every plate and pan
cup and glass, immersing them into a sink with forensic thoroughness,
working as one, sharing the washing and wiping, an ebb and flow
immersion in hot suds, raising up the items
as bright as Excalibur triumphant, they made a stunning show.
While the dance of hands went on we lightly conversed
to pass the time about how our parents shared such a task
before the white revolution; after the Sunday glut of roast
the scarifying of the oven, dealing with fat and other unspeakable conditions.
As a boy my job had been to get the coal, in, lift a metal hatch
in the bunker in all weathers, plunge the scuttle into the dark,
fill it up. I knew my place then as now I suddenly do again.