Tuesday bleach blues

by Luke Otley

There’s an old washerwoman on the steps
bleaching down her soul
the run off runs on down the street
like the Ganges,
most polluted river in the world
I’ve seen her move in sadness
early morning by the old cinema
the bleach bubbles cracking bad jokes to one another
harmless now, their gums bared
one by one calling farewell
skittering across the cobbles

ta ra

bye bye

god bless

the last leaves the mop
facing an eternal struggle
facing it alone
he quivers no

panics

the mop rises

falls

back in the bucket
taken away.