Bathing Susan
Fragile, failing, she is quietly bathed
Every morning in the ceramic bathtub
Bought second-hand from Mr Nash
And plumbed in downstairs in the brick extension.

She sits bolt upright and allows
Cobweb hair to be washed with lavender.
Leaning forward in perfume-sprinkled water,
Steam droplets tap-tap onto black-cracked linoleum.

A top-up of the hot extends
These few moments of pleasure for them both.
And her sister-in-law wonders when
This act of love will turn into a chore.

Jo Smythe

If you have any comments on this poem, Jo Smythe would be pleased to hear from you.