Sunday Morning Bathing – Sue Spiers

Sunday Morning Bathing

Spearmint toothpaste anoints her chin.
She turns taps to start the deluge,
pours thick liquid that smells of balsam,
places a razor on the side of the bath.
Gradual immersion; toe, shank, buttock,
fully soaks in amniotic warmth.
Her mind glides to roughness, ruminates,
re-orders words, chanting them to clarity.
Her razor slides over stubble, restores
smooth legs, pubes, oxters and muzzle.
She raises her knees, dips back three times;
plunge, lather, plunge, condition, plunge,
pinches hair between knuckles,
curls a wet knot at the back of her head.
Sentences unjumble, become slick
in rethinking, she repeats the lines
and examines puckers in fingertips,
assesses the time it takes to get out,
pulls each heel to thigh, purges soft skin.
At the final plughole amen, she wraps
herself in a towel wimple and surplice,
rinses the scum of her life away.


Sue Spiers came 3 rd in the Battered Moons competition and was highly commended in the Yeovil competition, both 2019. Sue’s poems are or will be in Dream Catcher, Black Bough, Fenland Poetry Journal, Orbis, South & Stand this year. Twitter: @spiropoetry

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