Autumn 2006 Poetry Competition Second Prize

Doing Without Dyno-Rod


Simone Mansell Broome


Have I sunk so low, is my life so small

that clearing the drains, not my drains,

counts as an achievement? And I did it

without Dyno-Rod, did it myself;


the highlight of my day, a rodding day,

was the satisfying gurgle

after unplugging, the glug and whoosh

of newly free-flowing water.


Simpler, so to speak, to get my hands dirty,

as you never know when these guys

are going to turn up and it seemed better

to do it myself, than chance them


being turned away by a confused person,

who's forgotten the appointment

I made, can't smell the smell, doesn't think

of health risks, doesn't like strangers,


or a change to the daily routine, mightn't

open the door anyway, or might

forget to close it behind them. Yes, today

counts for something, something off


that growing list, not exactly making progress,

not exactly getting anywhere,

but still, just about, keeping head above

water, holding things together.

 ©2006 Simone Mansell Broome

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