Her To and Fro

A poem by Paul Brookes


to and fro the iron

over bedsheets, his shirts,

as she stands three hours

hot poker of pain

in the small of her back,

lists what else to do,

take down window nets,

wash and iron,

vax front room,

lug it upstairs for bedroom,

carpets,

hoover front room,

lug it upstairs for bedroom

carpets,

clean windows inside

to and fro,

to and fro

polish beneath knick knacks

bought on holiday,

to and fro

strip and remake beds,

make his tea,

always meat and two veg

He arrives home and says,

“What have you ever done for me?”


Paul Brookes has performed in the poetry performance group Rats for Love and is included in their 1989 Rats for Love: The Book (available from Bristol Broadsides). His first chapbook, The Fabulous Invention of Barnsley (1993), is available from Dearne Community Arts.

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