Thursday, July 14, 2011

How to Clean Practically Anything


by Jennifer O'Grady






Yes, housework can be a chore



A day, a day rinsed free of night



everyone enjoys a clean and orderly home



a table wiped clear of crumbs and spills



the best way to do the maximum amount


of work, without becoming overwhelmed



floor swept, dustpan emptied into plastic

bags which are placed inside sealed metal cans



is to perform it in a systematic fashion



dishwasher emptied, opaque and stainless



blot the stain, wipe away any residue



whites now sorted, his socks, his shirts

old egg-yolk yellow under the arms



try these to ensure results


reward your efforts:



his underwear, the boxers faded and frayed

repeating their pattern of angular hearts



be sure to remove any hooks or weights



their scattered and miniature x's and o's

openings measured for admission or exit



don't overload the machine, and remember



his colors tangling in a tossed-off pile

of mostly darks, mostly black and blues



fabric becomes much heavier when wet



while here and there a spring green

a tremulous yellow



protect from strong sunlight


and abrasive objects



a newborn pink, streak

of surprisingly deep red



warning: damages may not be covered



like fresh blood, a raw and unsutured cut



try a product that claims to hide


surface scratches



to be rinsed and wrung, dried and folded and piled

into the thing we call a long marriage



if the marks have darkened


use a sharp knife



these daily removals, these many attempts

to wipe clean the counter the table the slate



if the burn is deep use filler


smoothing it to match the surface



the windows now free of fingerprints and smears

as if there were no glass no barrier no space



work carefully to avoid


damaging the paint



in which to revisit your own faint reflection



this coating should last for years



please note: art by Jean-Edouard-Vuillard

1 comment:

  1. A marriage deserves at least as much attention as the rest of our lives. Sometimes it feels like a chore, but if you've been at least partially attentive, the outcome can be worth the effort.

    ReplyDelete

Hey, thanks for your thoughts and your time:>)