Monday, 17 December 2012


Minimal clearance, stubborn rubber feet!

Old washing machine is only dead weight,

Its ballast an aggregate of odours

And memories, washed-out life stains rinsing

Fades but doesn’t remove. Now though it must be

Hauled from its dedicated niche behind

Matching unit doors. My son has method

And muscle, is lithe enough to squeeze through

To turn off and disconnect the hoses

In a way I once would have for my dad

As he stood aside as I stand aside,

Letting the job be done efficiently.

Just twelve months ago I carried dad

In the crook of my arm where once I held

My infant son. He’d wriggled, was lively,

While dad, desiccated, being interred in

A glossy cardboard cylinder like one

Of the more obscure malts he liked to sip,

Was also difficult to hold. After

Easing the old thing out there is a space,

A vacancy the son eventually

Fills with a new appliance for his dad.
                                                          Dave Alton