On Washing Day

A poem by Fay Inchfawn

"I'm going to gran'ma's for a bit
My mother's got the copper lit;
An' piles of clothes are on the floor,
An' steam comes out the wash-house door;
An' Mrs. Griggs has come, an' she
Is just as cross as she can be.
She's had her lunch, and ate a lot;
I saw her squeeze the coffee-pot.
An' when I helped her make the starch,
She said: 'Now, Miss, you just quick march!
What? Touch them soap-suds if you durst;
I'll see you in the blue-bag first!'
An' mother dried my frock, an' said:
'Come back in time to go to bed.'
I'm off to gran'ma's, for, you see,
At home, they can't put up with me.

"But down at gran'ma's 'tis so nice.
If gran'ma's making currant-cake,
She'll let me put the ginger spice,
An' grease the tin, an' watch it bake;
An' then she says she thinks it fun
To taste the edges when it's done.

"That's gran'ma's house. Why, hip, hooray!
My gran'ma's got a washing day;
For gran'pa's shirts are on the line,
An' stockings, too -- six, seven, eight, nine!
She'll let me help her. Yes, she'll tie
Her apron round to keep me dry;
An' on her little stool I'll stand
Up to the wash-tub. 'Twill be grand!
There's no cross Mrs. Griggs to say,
'Young Miss is always in the way.'
An' me and gran'ma will have tea
At dinner-time -- just her an' me --
An' eggs, I 'spect, an' treacle rice.
My goodness! Won't it all be nice?

"Gran'ma, I'm come to spend the day,
'Cause mother finds me in the way.
Gran'ma, I'll peg the hankies out;
Gran'ma, I'll stir the starch about;
Gran'ma, I'm come, because, you see,
At home, they can't put up with me."

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