Ode to the Mop

The sunshine square

bucket holds

warm water mixed

with Virex, soap

smells sweet, fruit

contradicts it’s function,

creates bubbles with

translucent rainbow shine.

When pops make

liquid glass, colors

swirl, shed like

snake’s skin.

Mop meets the

surface, breaks tension-

soon enough these

scuffed tiles clean.

Dimpled black lever

pushed to eat

the stringy yellow

afro, spits bubbly

excess into water

waits below, drips

cease and mop’s

rabies begin to

clear, reveals

yellow-bellied mirror,

flat once again.

Slopped onto

floor, mopping begins,

while pail waits

perched on four

inky wheels speckled

with debris yesterday’s

dust mop forgot.

Mop transforms to

brush in hands

of an artist.

With every shade

in the spectrum

the lowly custodian

transforms to DaVinci,

paints a sly

smile, eyes that

haunt bathroom floors.

VanGogh in the

hallway, a masterpiece

reflects overnight shifts’

stars on the

newly clean psychomanteum,

building’s eerie emptiness.

The Scream in

every classroom when

Munch mangles mop

over boot stained

floors, muddy footprints

turned painter’s perfection.

When cleaner’s hands

are full of

pigment, oil colors

seeped into fingernails,

acrylics stain streams

that run across

palm’s streets, fingertips

trail watercolor crimsons,

ceruleans across forehead

sweep concentration’s sweat.

Froth from jaw’s

wring his brush

one last time,

pallet full of amber,

copper swirl around,

creates dirt patterns

embracing sink’s drain.

Masterpieces lay drying,

wait to be

mortally scuffed by

winter’s remaining grasp

on students’ soles.


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