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In 2008 the North Pine Bush Poets hosted the Australian Bush Poets Association Championships. As a fundraiser we produced a book of members’ poems. I couldn’t resist writing a reply to “Wash Day Blues” by John ‘the Joker’ Pampling where he bemoaned having to hang the washing for his longsuffering wife.

I hope you enjoy

The Wash Day Pink Reply

So, you think it’s pretty funny when I ask you very nicely
would you kindly hang the washing just a little more precisely?
I can tell by how you wrote it just what jobs you do at home
and by seeing how you spoke it, that sarcastic little poem!

You think the wash’s only tangled up the day it’s yours to do?
The magic fairy sorts mine out?  Yeah right and pigs fly too!
And I know you never shook them out then hung them up to dry
the sleeves and legs are still all wet, jumbled up–that’s why!

You haven’t had to iron creased-up shirts when in a hurry
the creases look like they’re starched in–no wonder you get curry!
What do you care if blacks and blues are looking very pale
If you’d hung them inside out I wouldn’t buy more every sale!

You never folded washing when you had five minutes flat
which looks like dry used tissues from the pocket where you sat!
You never chased a stripy one to get a pair of folded socks
just to find it in the teatowels jumbled up in holey jocks!

You never faced the neighbours and those nasty little rumours
or the whispers up and down the street of raggy baggy bloomers
You love to make us sound much worse and I know you think it’s funny
but colour-coding pegs – not me you know that too well honey!

And by the way, you’d make my day if, when you cleared the line
you folded and you sorted it, put yours away and mine
you never know just what might come with rampant gratitude
and wash day might be much more fun with your new attitude!

© Zoe Younger 2008