By Paul Manchester

When I lay me down to sleep
I pray perhaps my life to keep.
Yet, if I die from cause unseen
may my house be mostly clean?

And if not mostly- when I’m dead
I hope at least I’ve made the bed –
with pillows neatly fluffed in place.
It might not seem an unkempt space.

But, granted if I die alone in bed,
and I lie across it dead,
can I be more like Camille,
avoid a Roger Corman feel –
lying there with mouth agape
eyes aghast at some dread shape
clutching at the nearest drape
hoping for one last escape.

But, if my eyes are open wide
embarking on that final ride,
probably while at Death’s door –
I’ve seen clothes upon the floor.
Piles of clothes like a hoarder
waiting for just one more quarter.
Whether eyes be wide or closed
don’t let there be piles of clothes!

And if not clean may it be free
of objects to embarrass me.
Things we might well use in theory –
awkward for loved ones all teary.

May dishes all be stacked and clean,
the sink scrubbed to a sparkling sheen,
oven racks quite free of cheese
from pizzas pulled from the deep freeze
baked directly on the rack.
Geez that cheese turns awful black!
(Whoever wrote that on the box
assumes a maid around the clock.)

So, may I leave my house quite clean!
May the plants be mostly green!
But likely that won’t be my fate.
I’ll see the mess when it’s too late
-floors not mopped and shelves undusted,
shower tiles soap encrusted.

Yes, I know, why should I care?
For chances are, I’ll not be there.
Yet if I hover o’er my bed
as I lie upon it dead –
I don’t care if I have died…
I’m sure I’ll still be mortified.

June 13, 2012
Copyright 2012 Paul Manchester

(at the top is pictured Trick Troblin – one of my puppets. He does not assist with housekeeping at all.)

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