'Spit 'n Polish' (I.P.)
A fanatic, her other half;
she put it down to his stint
in the army. Even after
he retired, old habits still
died hard. Each evening,
Cherry, as she was called,
cleaned her old man’s shoes
before he went for a swift jar...
or two. “Why have a dog
and bark yourself?” he’d say.
But this particular night,
she’d an attack of lumbago;
he said his brogues were a disgrace.
Made her ‘put her back into it’;
said he wanted to see his face
in ‘em. Knocked her about a bit;
right down them ‘apples ’n pears’,
yet she just picked herself up...
walked right out of his life...
He’s not mentioned her since,
almost as if she hadn’t existed –
you know how it is. Gone,
but not forgotten....not by me,
at least. Those sad eyes of hers
and ruby red lips; whenever I see
a tin of ‘Cherry Blossom’ polish –
she springs to mind. I like to think
that, one day, she really did shine.