Workless Washday: Burnt Journal 1952

Workless Washday

Dignitaries muscle around the debating halls of Europe 
while American Woman tends her gleaming twin-tubs alone 
time free to arrange the dyed prickly flowers. 

Technology purrs. Clouds billow against the death-trap 
jetliner’s under-parts bumping along while Peter Ustinov 
pontificates on White Russians for the Third Programme. 

One girl carries a violin case, the other a man’s briefcase, 
a scroll of music hanging free. They mime smut posing 
for the Mexican’s Sunday paintings or his Marxian murals. 

The United Nations building dawns above the Hudson 
as though the slip-knot of nationhood tightens here, far 
from the Duke’s rattling medals, the race-horse’s cough. 

(for Frances Presley at 60) 

Robert Sheppard 

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