|Lightening the Burden
by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
was feeling mistreated and petulant recently. Because I was cleaning the bathroom.
I hate this job and there is a reason that I hate it. I sit down to take care
of business and the act of sitting absolutely negates any possibility that I will
miss. I donít have to worry about it. There is nowhere for anything to go but
down. As it should be. And yet I am obliged to scrub all around the toilet, the
back of it, the seat, the sides, the floor around it and the wall beside it. I
donít mind that things have to be cleaned. Thatís O.K. But, my heavens! What do
they do in here, these boys? Is it like a big pee-pee Mardi Gras? Are they practicing
the Macarena? Writing their names? Looking at the ceiling? Pretending thereís
an earthquake? What? What? What! What is the problem? Micturition related seizures?
Is this the way they relieve all their pent up resentment and frustration? "Oh
yeah? Clean up my room? Well, take that! Liver for dinner? HA! Hereís what I think
of liver for dinner!" Is that it? It wasnít enough that I carried them around
for nine months as they sucked the very life out of my bones, not enough that
I spent a year on each of them smelling like spit-up milk. Not enough that I ate
pounds and pounds of leafy green vegetables when my entire being was screaming
"CHOCOLATE!" That I sacrificed my figure, my youth and my disposition for them?
That wasnít enough? But they have to pee like theyíre blessing the earth? Like
they are the clouds and the bathroom is the desert? Like somebody else (me, Me,
ME!) is going to clean it up?
So. I was feeling mistreated. I was thinking,
"I know Princess Di never had to put up with this." Which was stupid. She probably
had a special HazMat team on call especially for her family. I bet Dorothy Parker
never found herself on her knees in front of a toilet. O.K. Bad example. On her
knees scrubbing a toilet. How about Edna St. Vincent Millay? Imagine
her up to her elbows in Ajax. What would she have to say about it?
what a limpid, gentle grace,
With swish and swirl and sigh,
a passion pent and spent,
The mold do battle I.
If ever men were meant
Upon the wall and floor,
And leave it all there just for me,
An unrelenting chore,
Then thereís no justice in this world!
not my lot
To leave my hopes and dreams tight furled
Whilst scrubbing round
If men can sail the seven seas
And make it home again,
it too much to ask them please,
To keep within the rim?
If they can travel
to the stars,
Determine speed and thrust,
To land upon the breast of Mars,
Count more on aim than trust,
Is it too much to hope and ask
it could be the same,
When they are at their toileting
Count less on trust
If this be so, if this be right,
Then follow ye my reason,
Let men stay here to fight the fight,
And weíll be back next season.
had a lot of fun with that and believe me, it made cleaning the bathroom much
Then it made me think of work. You know. Since I was being poetic.
So hereís one more, that you might enjoy. I hope you will. Maybe you can read
it while you clean the bathroom.
a fine young American brain
When They Grow Up
You don't think this because you are vain
you've often been told
By the young and the old
That you're headed for
riches and fame.
You've chosen the study of medicine,
Unlike Misters Tesla
Engineering's a drag
The Arts aren't your bag
And it's too
late to change and begin again.
After long years of hardship and toil,
right through that ol' midnight oil,
It's your first night On Call
been handed the ball
Each dilemma you'll conquer and foil!
Fever and seizure
and rhonchi and spots,
None of these problems are Gordian knots.
hither and yon
From dusk until dawn
While your dinner congeals and then
For each query you had a reply
And resisted the impulse to cry
been up for two days
Your brain's in a haze
And there's slime on the end
of your tie.
Oh where is the glory and valor?!?
Your cheeks have an unhealthy
But your mom is so proud,
Your dad boasts out loud,
hero, a saint and a scholar!