Shadorma: On the washing of bears


Take one bear
(Of the small, soft sort.)
Fill a sink
(Not too deep.)
Add detergent. Make bubbles.
Roll up sleeves. And breathe.

Distract Bear
(‘Oh look – a hiker!’)
Then grab him
Chuck him in
And scrub. Paws, ears, tail and snoot
Need most attention.

Haul Bear out
Check for vital signs.
Ready? Go!
Straight back in.
(As a rule, two goes round are
The bare minimum).

Grime all gone?
Good. Time to rinse him.
(Be aware:
Even small
Specimens can weigh as much
As the real thing now.)

Let Bear lie
Sink-side for a spell;
Limp, half-drowned,
Matted, cold.
(A sight best kept from the more
Sensitive owner.)

Squeeze him dry
(Size and stuffing type
Will have some
Bearing on
How long this takes.) In a towel
Give a big bear hug.

Peg out, by the ears.
Not as cruel
As it sounds:
The wind fluffs up the fur – and
Bears love line dancing.

Now he’s clean.
But won’t stay that way:
He’s ready
To be stained
With tears, battered, crushed, held tight
Whenever you are.

16 thoughts on “Shadorma: On the washing of bears

  1. Oh this is fabulous Nick! What a heartwarming poem to start my day, just my kind of poem! I can so very well relate to the cleaning of soft bears and the like. You are an absolute star at the Shadorma. I have yet to try one, although I have managed another sonnet called “Bees”. Im pretty much obsessed with them! I may post it next time. x

  2. Thank you, as always! My daughter bought the bear in question for three euros at a ‘vide grenier’ (jumble sale) while we were on holiday in France; I wrote the poem after we spent a soapy half-hour getting him clean enough for polite company. He’s been through the washing machine since we returned home: more effective, perhaps, but a lot less poetic! Can definitely recommend the shadorma – and very much want to read your Bees 🙂 N.xx

  3. Lovely Nick! I don’t have good memories of teddy bears but I can imagine some people get comfort from them 🙂 You describe well how a teddy should be 🙂 And stains come anyway, cleaning them won’t help for long. I am glad to see you are back writing! 🙂 x

  4. The previous owner must be really glad to see his/her teddy find a new home. My son no longer needs his stuffed animals at night, but I just can’t get round to throwing them away. I keep them loose around the living room and that seems to keep them happy. Heaven knows what they get up to at night; I often find them doing pyramids and all sorts of things in the morning.

    Ayano xxx

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