Have been sent this poem by a long standing friend.
Thought you would like to see it too.
The Red Tablecloth
I took it from the top of the freezer where it had lain
cocooned in plastic
Spread it across the kitchen floor, a royal carpet
And knelt in obeisance with a small bowl of water
And a Vanish bar, gradually shuffling forward on
Ancient knees as I scraped away the smears of festive foods.
Later, pulled from the womb of the washing machine
It hung flag-like on the linen line, deep red,
The people’s flag (not the Scarlet of Flanders poppies or The Letter),
Sometimes writhing like the cloak of a toreador, sometimes sailing high
in the sky like the Banksy balloon.
The red of pillar boxes, the red of holly berries, the red of Christmas,
it now drapes the ironing board with an accusatory glare
as if it would like to say:
I AM ANGRY NOW, DANGEROUSLY ANGRY
When are you going to press me and put me away?
It has only taken me three months to wash it.
Let us hope that when the next festive season comes
The world can spread its tablecloths again.
Washed on 25th March 2020.
Written on 25th March 2020.
Pressed on 29th March 2020.