This poem will make you smile and I think just about everyone will recognize some of the listed characteristics in their own family. Several times, I heard the comment from class participants, that they didn’t think the narrator really wanted to be completely alone. I enjoyed the rebellious image of what she envisioned for herself. I like what she tells us about herself in the first two opening lines and the ending image.
Many writers do other things for their living wages, so I’m including a little bio and a second poem.
Ginger Andrews is a poet who owns a house cleaning business with her sisters. She lives in Oregon. She teaches bible classes on Wednesday nights and is a prize winning published poet.
Home Alone Ginger Andrews
bad cooks, good cooks,
food stamp recipients,
low blood sugar & type 2 diabetes,
depression, codependency, cancer,
high energy, low self esteem,
nap takers, neat freaks, control freaks,
carpal tunnel syndrome,
strong arms, skinny ankles, pot bellies,
public speakers, introverts, braggers,
blue eyes, long legs, red necks,
enablers, naggers, whiners,
pride, guilt and honesty all run in my family.
We have an out of work long haul truck driver,
a race car driver, a certified pesticide applicator,
an Olympic decathlon pole vault record breaker,
Sunday School teachers, a politician, a poet,
professional house cleaners, a dishwasher who
works in a dive for dimes, and an Environmental
Services worker who mops floors at the local hospital
and recently moved in with me because
paying off her ex’s bills put her in a real bind and
even though she comes in from work exhausted
she manages to vacuum my carpets and Comet my toilets.
There’s never a dull moment, though I’m praying for one,
that my sister will get her own place soon,
that my brilliant, eighteen-year-old needs-to-get-a-job son
will snap out of it, that my in-laws’ place will hurry up and sell,
that they’ll pack up and move to Arkansas already…. I see myself
home alone writing a poem in a quiet house, smoking one cigarette
after another, eating candy, flicking
my ashes on the floor.
What the Cleaning Lady Knows Ginger Andrews
Cleanliness is not and never has been next to godliness.
White carpets are hell.
You can get by without Comet, Spic and Span or lemon oil,
but Windex is mandatory.
Ammonia can cause pneumonia.
People who pay to have clean houses cleaned are lonely.
Children whose parents work full-time will fall in love with you.
Rich people splatter diarrhea
on the inside rim of their toilet seats, just like the rest of us.
Cleaning rags should always be washed separately with bleach.
Cash is better than checks.