Poetry

Colour chart

‘You mentioned you were decorating.

What colour are you painting your walls?’

‘I think perhaps…dead salmon.’

‘I don’t think that’s a colour…more like decor gone wrong.’

‘No, it is a colour. Just like arsenic.’

‘I repeat my previous statement.’

‘Fine. How about salon drab?’

‘There’s no need to insult this establishment.’

‘I’m not insulting it. That’s the name of the colour.

There’s also savage ground, bone, churlish green, pale hound–‘

‘Okay, okay, I take your point. But are you sure

that’s a colour chart you’re reading from?’

‘Of course, I picked it up from the undertaker’s this morning.’

Poetry

And here we are

The scum around the bath is easily scrubbed away,

the ceramic clean enough to be white again.

Paint tins, brushes, rollers –

evidence of our romp with the walls

clear for any onlooker. Sweet sugared soap

purges away the grime of long life,

Artex to mask the imbalance. Spongy bounce

under our feet. That’s more like it.

Spread our toes to feel the pile. New.

Home at last.