They’ve been laid down
Over endless ages;
Layer upon layer
Of vests and shirts
Compressed in deep, cemented strata,
Shot through with seams
Of stone-aged denim;
And fossil frocks
Cut like fault-lines
Through a couple of aeons’-worth
Of dark, basaltic socks.
Digging down into the lowest reaches,
We uncover t-shirts,
Shorts and flimsy, strappy stuff
From far-off fiery days
Before the earth grew hard and cold.
And like prospectors, gold-fever-gripped
We whoop at each new strike:
Deposits of bath-towels, nightshirts, sheets
A snaking vein of kitchen cloths;
A rich lode of clean underwear.
Do we detect
The smallest trace of iron.
This evening, we finally got round to sorting out the stack of clean laundry in the airing-cupboard, which was as high as the North Face of the Eiger and just as intimidating. It took all three of us, and there were things in there we’d forgotten we even owned. We’re not slack, exactly; we’re just very good at finding more interesting things to do. And we really hate ironing. One of the many reasons I don’t have a proper job requiring shirts and stuff.