Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Mom helping me plant flowers at my own first house- spring 1990.

by Janet Sobczyk, 2013ⓒ

There's something about the first warm days of spring
that makes me want to clear leaves out of flowerbeds,
sweep the porch, clean out the cars, and
wash my windows and curtains.

I don't feel that strongly about those things
at any other time of the year, so why then?
Maybe it's because of my mom,
who set a fine example for years.

Twice a year, spring and fall, without fail,
she would go full speed cleaning the house and cars.
She washed walls, windows, and floors.
Always top to bottom, of course.

All the furniture would be moved, cleaned, rearranged.
The vacuum would probe every corner.
Sometimes tiny treasures were found
under the couch or behind the console TV.

As a child I enjoyed watching her.
Sometimes it was best to stay out of the way
before being enlisted to lend a hand.
But I always enjoyed the finished results.

Rooms that almost glowed.
Everything seemed so fresh and pretty.
I loved the novelty of furniture in new places
and clean windows open to the breeze.

This is the first year that Mom is not spring cleaning.
She talks about wanting to work in the yard
and needing to clean windows.
But she doesn't have to now; she is in "assisted living."

She can't quite adjust to having things done for her.
After so many years of spring and fall cleanings,
she still thinks it needs to be on her to-do list.
I guess a woman's work really is never done.

No comments: