By Valerie Muriel Mckinley
Published: August 18, 2008
Updated: August 18, 2008
The last but one in a row of terraced houses,
red bricks need pointing,
sashed casements stiff, painted tight
with dark brown paint
flaked and peeling.
The key turns easily in the Yale lock
though the hinges squeak in protest,
yet the smell of bees wax polish
is warm and welcoming,
overlaying a hint of the Monday wash.
From the back scullery comes
the soft bubble of the copper boiling.
In the yard the happy squeal of a little girl
playing with next doors cat.
A young woman turns the iron wheel
of an older than Methuselah mangle
already a line full of pure white sheets flap
in the early morning breeze.
This is the sight that greets him
after his night shift.
A make do meal of cold yesterday roast and pickles
because itís washday
is set out on an immaculate table cloth.
He is home - yet
he feels trapped,
- she, bondage ?