Cramped space; grubby corners;
door slamming; water flushing;
humming of hot air machines;
and always the queue.
This time, the sound of singing,
a voice raised in glorification
as she cleans to sparkle.
The door of her private cubicle
stands open; nothing to hide.
The one-bar electric fire,
a knife wound of warmth,
rosies the card table and the radio.
Her knitting, skewered mid-row,
rests on the fireside chair,
a kettle, mug and bun in a plastic bag
await the moment of respite to come.
Her shopping-bowed audience
enter and depart to the strains of
‘Away in a manger, no crib for His bed…’
her cleaning arm, the metronome.
Shiny sinks, spotless toilets and
still mopping the floor, she bestows
‘Hark the Herald Angels si…ing’
Her Christmas offering to the Christ Child
enfolds us in the gift.
© Marion Sharville